Joe Terry Rye
July 24, 1938 – June 12, 2020
Click on the link below to view the Memorial Tribute Video for Joe:
Joe Terry Rye took his last breath on earth on June 12, 2020. We take comfort in knowing he is now free of suffering, safely home in the arms of his Savior. Joe was a survivor and fought to the end to live his best life. It was never in his nature to give up.
Joe was born to loving parents at home on the family farm in the beautiful state of Mississippi on July 24, 1938. His was a childhood of very modest means and hard work. His mother was a high school math teacher, unusual for the times who instilled a love of learning in Joe’s spirit. His “daddy,” as he called him affectionately, was a dairy and crop farmer. Joe was an important part of the family business milking cows and picking cotton in his “spare” time.
Joe earned a business degree in Commerce from Ole’ Miss, having completed his studies in 3 years. He accomplished much in his life facing every challenge head-on. He had a brilliant mind and a giving heart. He was a man who excelled in just about everything he chose to explore by hard work, determination, curiosity, insight and the grace of his Lord. But his hallmark accomplishment was his personal character. He had a strong, unwavering moral compass and simply did what was right to the best of his abilities especially when it involved a difficult journey. He did so no matter the cost—emotional, physical or financial. He was a loving caregiver for his beloved wife Gerry, whom at age 59, was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. Gerry lived for fifteen years and Joe faithfully devoted himself to her care. He also provided care for his younger brother, Morris Lynn when he was treated at M.D. Anderson in Houston as he lost his battle with cancer at the early age of 61.
Joe was a lifelong Baptist and loved to sit under the anointed preaching of his pastor, Danny Forshee whose sermons deeply touched his spirit. He was a member of Great Hills Baptist Church, Austin, TX.
He and Gerry spent most of their marriage in the Houston area. Joe was a successful businessman primarily in the chemical industry serving in both CEO and CFO roles. He was also a past president of the Houston Chapter of CPAs.
For over fifteen years, he spent as much time as possible at the family summer home in Alto, New Mexico where he loved the breath-taking scenery, mild climate, wildlife and good food. It brought him joy as did his new found New Mexico friends and neighbors.
Joe leaves behind both family and dear friends whose lives he made better by his presence and his gifts of keen advice and help.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Jesse and Ophie (Rutledge) Rye, younger brother, Morris Lynn Rye and his older stillborn sister. Joe leaves behind both family and friends to cherish his memory. Three sons and their families: Greg Rye (Tara,) Darren (Kathy,) and Jon (Jodie). He deeply loved his seven grandchildren Mikayla, Grant, Davis, Danielle, Jaden, Jackson and Jaylee. Joe later married Kris (Powell) Rye. It is to Kris' credit that Joe lived as long and as comfortably as he did. She survives. Other survivors include: father-in-law, Crosby Powell, sister-in-law, Lynn Rye, and nephews, Anthony Michael, and Daniel Morris. He is also survived by his favorite Aunt “Baby” Ruth; cousins: Joan Lansdell (Sid), and Beverly Blaylock (Steve), and other relatives who still reside in Mississippi, a state Joe and Kris loved to visit; their gracious Southern hospitality left lasting, warm memories with each visit. Gene and Marvel Finch, dear friends and surrogate family survive.
We will celebrate Joe’s life in The Memorial Chapel of Cook-Walden/Capital Parks Funeral Home, 14501 North Interstate 35, on Monday, June 15, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. The family will receive friends from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. which is one hour prior to the service conducted by Pastor Danny Forshee.
Interment will follow the celebration of Joe’s life at Cook-Walden/Capital Parks Cemetery, 14501 North Interstate 35, Pflugerville, Texas 78660.
The family requests that contributions in Joe’s memory be made to Great Hills Baptist Church, 10500 Jollyville Road, Austin, TX 78759.
- Greg Rye
- Grant Rye
- Darren Rye
- Jon Rye
- Jackson Rye
- Jaden Rye
- Davis Rye
Joe Terry Rye
March 1, 2021
I was late in learning about Joe’s passing and even later in sitting down to write this.
I met Joe when I was a young banker and he was a cagey CFO looking for a better deal. I was able to win the business and become Joe’s primary corporate lender. He was a man of his word and believed in long term relationships.
A couple of years later, Joe needed to hire a #2 finance guy and he trusted me enough to hire me. It was the big break of my career, not just the position but getting to work with and learn from Joe. He was both creatively brilliant and wise, something you don’t often see in the same person.
His career moved to another company but his guidance set me on the direction of a fruitful career in oil and gas finance. More than anything else, I learned from Joe’s example to always seek to do the right thing and let God sort out the consequences. His faith allowed him to do some courageous things in his career.
Godspeed Joe Rye, and thank you for your powerful and positive impact on me.
June 18, 2020
My Dear Joe Terry,
Where do I begin? Whatever I say will never do you justice.
I will always celebrate your life. You led a life of honor. You were gifted with a strong, overcoming spirit. You had such a pure, giving heart and a brilliant mind. Tempered by tragedy, you remained steadfast in your Faith. You have left a powerful, precious legacy of uncompromising integrity and unwavering responsibility.
As your health declined, what you had left to give me was so much more than enough. It was a blessing that God allowed me to love you and serve you. Thank you for trusting me to be and do all that you needed. I fought really hard for you to be able to live your best life. My resolve to “be there” for you was unshakable.
Our time together was so short but so rich. You were my earthly treasure.
Although your brilliant mind receded, never did your will to live. I am so grateful that you recognized me to the very end. And it was a gift to me that your dying process was one of quiet dignity with no angst. You were so calm and composed. As you got closer to Heaven, it was as if you were aging in reverse. No one would know how you suffered by how you looked at the end.
I didn’t want you to leave me. I can’t imagine life without you. But I encouraged you to go Home. It was time for you to lay down your valiant effort to live. I am so happy that you arrived Home in Heaven safely! I am grateful that you are now in the loving embrace of your Heavenly Father. Most assuredly, your Savior welcomed you home with "Well done, Joe Terry. You have been a good and faithful servant."
I will always remember you as a man of Christian character honed in the great storms of life. You were faithful, fun and frugal, full of grit, focus and fortitude.
What a priceless privilege it was to be your wife.
I will always remember to never forget your generous spirit.
Your devoted wife Kris
Always and forever your biggest supporter!
You were dearly loved.
June 15, 2020
So Sorry to hear of Joe’s passing. I met Joe when he and Gerry were neighbors in Bammel Forest. Gerry and I went to Reagan High School and worked at the National Bank of Commerce in the Gulf Bldg. We did many fun things together. We went to Las Vegas together many times. Oh what fun!! Joe loved to play Black Jack. I was always welcomed in their home. I am so happy Joe met someone to love after Gerry’s passing. He was a fine man. I am very sorry that I could not come to Joe’s services as I have been at home fighting cancer for the last four and a half years. Jon, I would love to hear from you. It has been so many years. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
I send my love to all of the family!!
June 15, 2020
I loved my father very much. I’m so thankful and have many wonderful memories. He provided his children a wonderful way of life far better than his own. My father accomplished many things in his short 82 years. He started with loving parents, Jesse and Ophie Rye, in the mud banks of Mississippi. After a few good years of crops, his parents were able to move to better land of their own. One of his first desires was to be a milk-man because they drove cars!
My father went on to have a very successful career in finance (mainly in oil and natural gas). As CFO, CEO, President of organizations. He was President of the Houston Chapter of CPAs.
He loved his time at is ‘Weekend Ranch’ in Brenham, TX. 170+ acres, two ponds, and many red roof barns and houses on top of a hill. He hosted many family reunions, business celebrations, weddings, receptions and other events. I do believe his escape to his ranch in Brenham was a much-needed break from his highly demanding job.
My father had a passion for helping others. He gave much of his time, resources and advice that helped many people. Because of my father’s desire to help his children succeed, I am thankful for the opportunity to graduate from college debt-free. Many things I received from my father I was not aware of how important they were until much later in life.
My father loved to compete and loved playing with his family and friends. Many of my memories of him smiling and laughing were during these games. I also remember his smile and laugh when telling the many jokes he loved to tell.
Thank you Dad! Thank you for teaching me to work hard in life. Thank you for allowing me to go for my dreams. Thank you for being a loving father and grandfather. Thank you for instilling in me a competitive spirit. Thank you for teaching me to love and respect everyone no matter the race, gender, or social background. I love you, miss you, and will remember you always!
June 15, 2020
Definitely lots of memories of playing card games with dad and all of the Astros and Oilers games. When he was coaching Jon all of the older brothers would help out. Of all of the many baseball records he always felt that Johnny Vander Meer’s back to back no- hitters would be the toughest record to break as someone would have to throw three consecutive no-hitters to break the record.
When I was little I remember him betting me a dime to a dollar that I wouldn’t finish my food. Once I finished he gave me a dime which was a great lesson as I was expecting a dollar.
He was always so generous in letting us use his houses in Brenham or New Mexico for church Sunday School parties or ski trips. He would take the grandkids on golf cart rides. And of course the memories of proposing to Kathy in their April Sound home.
Obviously he was very loyal in taking care of Gerry in her later years. I remember all of the birthday and anniversary parties and dad coming to all of the kids piano recitals when they moved to Austin so that we could help out. He was there for important events like marathons or me severely hurting my ankle in 1992. All of the financial advice was invaluable.
He is going to be greatly missed but his legacy will continue on through his grandkids and the many people that he helped.
He certainly struggled health wise in recent years and we were glad that we were able to help especially from 2010 to 2015 when he first moved here. Thank you to the many people who helped dad over this difficult time.
There are too many positive memories to list out but these are a few. I am thankful that he is no longer suffering and in a better place.
We miss you dad but rejoice in the fact that we will see you again in the future.
June 14, 2020
I was first introduced to Joe when I was interviewing for the Tax Manager position at Seagull Energy in 1989. Joe was the CFO for Seagull at the time. After my initial interview, they called me back for another interview and finally hired me at Seagull. Joe always stated that I was best qualified candidate even though I graduated from LSU. Joe a proud graduate of Ole Miss which has a good history of rivalry with LSU. There were bumper stickers that read “Go to Hell Ole Miss” and ones that read LSUCKS!
I worked with Joe for six years before Joe went on to a new opportunity and left Seagull Energy. I always stay in touch and a few times visited him and Gerry up at their place in April Sound on Lake Conroe. During one point in my career, when I was between jobs , I contacted Joe who hired me to assist him in winding up a company that was in Bankruptcy. Joe had been appointed by the Court to be the trustee of this company and take it through this process. By that time, my wife and I had purchased a house on Lake Conroe and during our time there I would contact Joe to see if he was available for lunch. It was during this time that he was caring for Gerry during her battle with dementia. I could tell that Joe was caring and loving person as to watch him be attentive to Gerry until it was too much for a single individual to do. Upon her passing, I stay in touch through email and had the privilege to visit him and Kris in their home in Georgetown, Texas.
My condolences and prayers are with Kris and the rest of Joe’s family in this time of mourning for I will always remember him as a good business companion as well as good and caring friend!
June 14, 2020
Memories of dad include baseball. I have good memories on the baseball diamond with Dad and the brothers hitting, fielding and catching. Fun memories of going to Astros baseball games with Dad. And Dad helped coach Jon's t-ball teams and Dad was always sharing lots of baseball trivia. Memories include cards and dominoes. Many of days and nights were spent playing cards, especially hearts and spades. 42 was the dominoe game. Many a times Gerry would bid nello behind my nello bid. Somehow we would always make it against Dad and Jeff. The Backgammon games where there was a season where if anyone came into the house they had sit down and play Dad a game of backgammon. Dad and I had an ongoing competition where we played a nickel a game. I ended up collecting $30. Family gatherings were the best. There were always lots of family gatherings and parties. The ranch in Brenham was always a great place to go for the gatherings. Dad had wanted a ranch having grown up on a farm which brought him his own memories growing up. Dad and Gerry threw Tara and mine wedding reception at the ranch. It was a beautiful day and even made it into a novelists book as a wedding scene. Dad and I talked weekly on the phone. Even though I ended up leaving Texas and lived the farthest away I always called Dad every week. We talked about lots of topics and always looked forward to those weekly calls. I heard from others that he cherished this time as well. Celebratations. I remember Dad coming to Tara's graduation for her doctoral degree , and Dad and Kris coming to Mikayla 's college graduation.
June 12, 2020
Joe loved to play cards. Everytime we would go to see Joe and Gerry, Joe would get us all involved in a game of some sort. He really loved Nello. He loved to tease me for not always grasping the strategies. We would spend long evenings drinking iced tea and looking out at the golfers as we played. When the kids were little, Joe would take them out to gather golfballs that would go into the pond behind the house. The kids loved riding with Joe in his golf cart. When Greg and I flooded Joe and Gerry showed up with $50 of quarters. They took our laundry and washed it for us. One Christmas, we all met in Colorado. There was a huge blizzard and we were stuck in the hotel. We ended up eating our Christmas dinner in the breakfast nook at the hotel and sharing our food with hotel staff and a man from Korea. One year we all met up in New Mexico and Joe and Gerry took us to the white sand hills and we all slid down the sand hills like they were snow capped mountains. Even Joe and Gerry slid down. It was a blast. Joe and Gerry loved to have us all meet at Luby's cafeteria to eat. We would fill up a whole section with the family. Christmas was always over the top. We would all show up and hang out after the huge meals Gerry would make for us. Once Joe and Kris married one time Kris threw her dad and Joe a birthday party and we all gathered in Kansas to celebrate them. We are so thankful for these memories.