×

Sparkman Funeral Home & Cremation Services

1029 South Greenville Ave, Richardson, TX

OBITUARY

Rex B Rayfield Sr.

April 27, 1937January 7, 2020
Play Tribute Movie

Rex B “Pud” Rayfield, 82, died January 7, 2020 following a brief battle with metastatic cancer.

He was born the youngest of 5 boys on April 27, 1937 in Lawrenceburg, TN, to TD Rayfield, a farmer and high school principal, and Coy Estoile Rayfield, a telephone operator. Raised on the Rayfield farm, internalizing values of hard work and education, Rex graduated from Lawrence County High School a student-athlete and football MVP. He married his high school sweetheart Mary Beth Parkes in 1956 who preceded him in death in 1989. They started a family that he would see grow to seven children, 16 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren. Rex served in the army while earning a second bachelor’s degree and went on to start his own company, PlasTech Corporation, which recently celebrated 40 years of operation.

A three sport athlete throughout his school days, he was also the consummate coach of both sports and life. He loved the adventures he shared with his ever-growing family – hiking and camping in the Colorado mountains with his 7 children in tow, fishing in lakes and streams from Colorado to Alaska to New Zealand, and skiing the powder with his grandchildren. Every adventure was not just about starting a fire without a match, landing a trout on a fly, or a parallel turn on their skis – it carried with it timeless lessons of life and living examples of determination, integrity, humility and compassion. Regularly touted as “the sweetest man I’ve ever met,” he had an infectious smile and a unique laugh, he loved the funny pages – especially Calvin and Hobbes- could sing along to most any John Denver song, and had an affinity for boxed wine.

In 1992, Rex married Ara Wagner and they enjoyed the next 27 years full of love, trips in the RV, and joyful times with rod and reel. With a continued passion for sport, fishing and adventure, Rex and Ara traveled to softball complexes around the country, hosted numerous lake house gatherings, and celebrated many family accomplishments and milestones.

He was preceded in death by his brothers Bruce, Donald, and Michael. He is survived by his wife Ara, his children Pam (Jack) Fitzsimmons, Janet Rayfield, Rex (Lori) Rayfield, Diana Rode, Amy (Brent) Erschen, Debra (Brandon) Hurley, Sharon (Jayson) Haynes; grandchildren Meghan Felter (Daniel), Johnny Fitzsimmons (Jordan), Kevin and Kathryn Fitzsimmons, Emily Fodemski (Gavin), Rex III “Trey” and Jordan Rayfield, Taylor, Connor and Ryan Rode, Beth and Abby Erschen, Lauren and Jenna Hurley, Brooke and Della Haynes; greatgrandchildren Eliana, Rusty, Ezekiel and Gabriel Rex Felter, Sloan and Quinn Fitzsimmons, Weston, Pierce and Wade Fodemski, his brother Gene, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

A viewing and visitation will be held at St. Rita Catholic Church, 12521 Inwood Road, Dallas, Texas on January 10, 2020 at 7:00 pm. A service will take place on January 11, 2020 at 1:00 pm also at St. Rita Catholic Church with a reception immediately following. In Lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Rex Rayfield Sr. Memorial fund to help support teachers and coaches. Send all donations to 1404 West Church Street, Champaign, IL 61821.

Services

  • Visitation Friday, January 10, 2020
  • Funeral Service Saturday, January 11, 2020

Memories

Rex B Rayfield Sr.

have a memory or condolence to add?

ADD A MEMORY
Janie Carpenter

January 11, 2020

Uncle Pud will always be the coolest Uncle we had. He was also the kindest person and loved his family fiercely. We all have wonderful memories of him and I hope that it will comfort his family in their time of need. Prayers for all the family. We love you !

Nathan Crawford (Nashville)

January 11, 2020

"Pud" and I sorta' grew up together, in our hometown, Lawrenceburg ..... although I was one year older. We were good friends, and I was friends with all of his brothers and Mr. and Mrs. Rayfield. What a fine, salt-of-the-earth family they were, and I can visualize each of them right now. His wife, Beth, and I also went to school together at Sacred Heart Catholic School in Lawrenceburg. He was a person always full of laughter, and it was contagious wherever he was. What a guy. "We'll all be together again soon, my old friend, and it will be wonderful."

Sue Houle

January 10, 2020

Rex was my classmate for twelve years. He was a good guy. I did visit with him and Beth when the family was quite young. We went to a soccer game. I was always glad to see him at the class reunions. He will be missed.
Sue Sterbutzel Houle

Lex Hood

January 10, 2020

A Tribute to Rex Rayfield, Sr.
By Lex York Hood
onehood@icloud.com
January 10, 2020

This letter conveys my enduring respect and tribute to Rex, my former first-grade classmate at Lawrenceburg (TN) Elementary School in 1943 and on through our formative years to graduation at Lawrence County High School in 1955.

I was only 5-going-on 6 years old when I started first grade with Rex, who as a youngster, was always an energetic and enjoyable/fun person.

Except very briefly, I didn’t see or talk much with him or Beth, GOD REST HER SOUL, for over 60 years, but memories run deep.

I convey to his family respect and a view of influence for how such a fine person as Rex developed his character, early in life - and how fortunate I, Rex, James Allen Whitehead, Beth Parkes, and others of our former classmates were - to have grown up among the fine and loving families of good spirits in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee.

Our public school teachers and principals were kind, competent, and supportive but disciplined, which made our schooling and development productive and enjoyable.

Rex’s extended family has a proud heritage, and Rex took his role seriously to successfully instill and advance his family’s concepts of family values.

More power to Rex’s progenies, and MAY GOD REST HIS SOUL
IN PEACE AND ENDURING PRIDE IN HIS FAMILY.

James Whitehead

January 9, 2020

I grew up with Rex from First Grade on through High School. We were born prior to WWll, we both were age six starting First Grade. The War was on and in those days the parents all were working therefore we were sent to Old Public School in Rosemont to start our education. We both lived only a couple of blocks from the school. We had no clue what to do or where to go. Bells Rang, everyone was scrambling and running into the classrooms. A teacher noticed our puzzled looks and led us to Maude Dunn's First Grade Class. We ignored more bells as we had discovered Black Boards with lots of chalk. We began to draw pictures of War Planes and scratch the chalk across the black board as if shooting at our respective air planes. We were making shooting sounds, we had our own air war going full blast. Suddenly Ms. Dunn began whacking us on our butts with her paddle and yelled at us to find a seat and sit down. We were really embarrassed and confused. When my mother got home from work she asked me how my first day of school went? I think I told her I had all the formal education I'd ever need. I'm sure it went about the same at the Rayfield House . . . .this is only one of a million memories we shared . . . .God Speed my friend . . . . . .

Bud Kenan

January 9, 2020

I think of you and the years of senior softball and great plays you made and that smooth swing you have. You will definitely be in God’s first team All Heaven. Miss you Rex. Shedding a few tears for you. Love you my friend. You’ve had a great soulmate, Ara. Now another angel to look over all of us.

doug mckenzie

January 9, 2020

A man who i enjoyed working for a person who taught me alot, my prayers go to all his family.

Tracey Leone

January 8, 2020

I have so many wonderful memories of this amazing person, coach, and family man. The one that sticks out that I’m sure everyone who played for him will get a kick out of is just 3 words......”Come on Diana!!!” ❤️ Whenever you were around him, all you did was smile. He was just that kind of person...a bright light. Maybe he Rest In Peace in heaven.

Chris Bolding (McCauley)

January 8, 2020

It was always so much fun to be at the Rayfield house. But it wasn’t just the activities, it was the genuine love that you could feel all around you. Mr. Rayfield should be smiling from heaven looking down on his earthly legacy. My hope for all of you is that memories will sustain you and wrap you with love during this sad time.

Teri Cragle

January 8, 2020

What a sweet man. Rex coached us playing soccer as little girls. He had a voice that carried which I can still hear in my head at 52 years old. He would always be coaching on the field yelling in his special accent, " come on girls you're playing kick ball". He had a tremendous impact on my life and was also a client of mine for a while so I saw him into adulthood as well. His daughter Diana and I are still good friends. He will be forever missed but heaven just gained an angel. We will miss you Rex until we meet again. Teri

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY