Adah Raye Sheppard was born May 30, 1936, to Raymond Bennett and Celia Ellis Sheppard in Laredo, Texas; she grew up in the Texas Hill Country town of Comfort. Raye died July 24, 2013, in Austin of complications from ovarian cancer.
Raye lived in Austin from 1962 to 1998. After an early marriage with two children, she married Walter R. Carrington, Jr., father of two, in 1964. Raye and Walter traveled the world, built a cabin at Pearl Lakes Trout Club, and purchased a ranch in Colorado where they raised bison. While in Austin, she became good friends with the late Governor Ann Richards. She was a fundraiser and traveling companion for Richards, who took full credit for converting Raye to the Democratic party.
Raye’s formal education was interrupted when she began her family soon after high school. An avid learner, she enrolled in St. Edward’s University to study writing, which had long been her avocation. She received her B.A. in 1990 and soon published her first book, “Pearl Lakes Trout Club, Inc. A History.” Her second book “Hooked” (1994) was a collection of fishing humor subtitled “Funny Quotes from Serious Anglers.”
Raye was full of fun and laughter, but she could be tough and determined, as she was in 2008 when she underwent a difficult and risky lung transplant. The editor of the Mason County News called her a “hero” and praised Raye “for having the courage to decide to live.” And live she did for five more eventful years.
Raye said she lived her life in reverse: she played first and had to work for a living later. But even work was play for Raye. She claimed the best decision she ever made was opening her bed and breakfast, “Raye Carrington on the Llano River,” which allowed her to return to the beauty of the Hill Country and pursue her passion for fishing. There she adopted her beloved dog “Peeper,” who survives her. As a casting instructor, Raye introduced people of all ages to the joys of fly-fishing.
Raye was preceded in death by her parents, her former husband Walter and daughter Cathy. She is survived by two brothers, Raymond B. Sheppard, Jr. and wife Lou, Sam Sheppard and partner Nina; three children, Charles Carrington and daughter-in-law Rolinda, Timothy Carrington and Walter R. Carrington III (Trey); grandchildren Timothy Houston Carrington, Christopher Carrington, Kimberly Carrington, Callie Rose Carrington and Miles Ellis Carrington; and three great grandchildren.
A memorial service celebrating Raye’s life will be held in Austin at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center on Thursday August 1, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. A second memorial service will be held at “Raye Carrington on the Llano River” in Mason on Saturday August 3, 2013 at 9:00 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in her name to the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders (www.annrichardsschool.org/donate) or HospiceAustin (www.hospiceaustin.org/donate).