George "Raz " Autry
Jan 09, 1927-Apr 18, 2012
George "Raz" Autry
reposted from the NYT Letters to Editor
Perhaps obituaries should be written twice, each by a different writer who can offer a different angle on the same life. After all, every life has its highs and lows, moments of the heavenly and those of the mundane. Some lives soar and some become sidetracked. It is like watching an old movie and suddenly realizing that the actors have passed on, leaving a slice of themselves behind on a piece of celluloid. Is it who we were that mattered or what we did at a particular moment?
B N, NY.
George Raz Autry Obit
Raz Autry: Lifelong Contributor to the State of North Carolina
(the following are remarks given by Representative Larry Kissell in the US House of Representatives March 20, 2012.)
Mr. KISSELL. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to
honor Mr. George Raz Autry, Jr., a proud veteran,
a defender of education and a dedicated,
lifelong contributor to the great State of
Enlisting in the Marine Corps out of High
School, Mr. Autry honorably served our country
in World War II. Upon his return, he attended
East Carolina Teachers College where
he served as Student Body President. Raz
married his wife Ireni Toumaras Autry in 1951.
Mr. Autry then moved to my home county of
Montgomery County, North Carolina, and
helped open East Montgomery High School,
my alma mater. Mr. Autry found further opportunity
in Hoke County in 1967, where he became
Hoke High School Principal and later
School Superintendent. He continues his life
of service today in Hoke County as a peach
farmer, author, columnist, speaker, auctioneer
and respected community leader.
An ambassador for education in North Carolina
for more than 45 years, Mr. Autry has
served in a multitude of prominent and important
roles in support of youth, farmers and our
community as a whole. Mr. Autry’s impact on
North Carolina will last for generations. His
selfless service has inspired countless others,
including myself. Mr. Autry has led through
both example and instruction, and continues to
serve as inspiration to all of us who know him.
I was honored to nominate Mr. Autry for The
Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the highest order
that can be bestowed in our State of North
Carolina. Raz received that recognition recently,
and he is certainly deserving of such a
I ask my colleagues to join me in honoring
the life and work of my friend, a mentor, and
my former High School principal, Mr. Raz
Autry. Let us thank him for his life of continued
service to the future of our Nation.
This Man's Life Soared
Raz Autry: husband, father, grandfather, brother, friend., mentor...
Story written before George "Raz" passed away:
Recently, I took a much dreaded trip back East to visit my brother. He is seriously ill
with congestive heart failure. His condition is pretty ominous sounding but treatable. He is on medication and basically is on a very low sodium diet.
My brother looked awful mostly because he had lost so much weight.
He knew me, we reminisced, but was weak. I became his caregiver for a
couple of days- helping him get to the bathroom, in and out his wheelchair.
Quite the experience.
As I sat beside his bed the better part of a couple of days, I had
to think, "What has brought us to this point?" He's 85, always been incredibly
robust. He has been the patriarch of our family, always there for all of us. He is a retired educator and farmer and loves it.
has done it all- a Marine on Guadalcanal, school teacher, principal,
superintendent, a peach farmer, speaker, auctioneer and a successful author across genres.
He is the challenge man. He has faced and met each one.
But, my brother is now sick. Health is a challenge
that is out of his hands. Time to go? No, I don't think so. I had come to say
goodbye but after spending time with him for a short time, I am thinking he can rebound-return to his once energetic self. More years with
reasonable quality. I think so. God Bless My Brother Raz . jda
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