Rocky Harrell

Profile Updated: May 27, 2023
Residing In: Richmond, TX USA
Spouse/Partner: Myra Ratliff Harrell (class of 1971)
Occupation: (Retired) Process Safety Team Leader, Chevron Pipeline
Children: Chandra, born 1977; Justin, born 1979

After graduation from HS, I decided to further my education (avoid Viet Nam) and enrolled at Lubbock Christian University. The next year, my high school sweetheart and bride-to-be, Myra Ratliff (class of ’71) enrolled at Texas Tech where we re-acquainted and the romance took off. I sort of had the idea that she was the girl for me all along. We married in 1973 and it’s been pretty much wedded bliss ever since.
After college, we moved to Alice, TX (1975-1977) where I had landed my first real job as hospital Business Manager. We subsequently moved to Big Spring, TX where I was Business Manager of Malone-Hogan hospital. In 1981 it was time for a career change. I went to work for Getty Oil, which was later to become Texaco, which was to become Chevron. Ten years later we found ourselves in Tulsa (1991), then to New Orleans (1998), then to Norman, OK (2001), then to Houston (2008) where we reside today. We both retired July, 2018.
Although I never imagined living anywhere but West Texas, the good Lord kept us on the move most of our married life. Myra has not only NEVER complained, she always seems to approach every move as an adventure, which our life has been, one big adventure after another.
Myra loved working as a private flute teacher, having worked in several of the public schools whenever we moved. She was always in great demand as a judge at regional and state music contests, as a local clinician, and was invited to be an adjunct teacher at a small college in Louisiana - about the time we moved again. She has taken it all in stride, to her credit and to my great admiration.
Daughter, Chandra, is married and we have two grandsons - an 18 yr old and a 13 yr old (2023). Our son Justin (not currently married) is a successful architect in Oklahoma City.

Together, Myra and I enjoy (when we find time) walks on the beach, bed & breakfast weekends, sight-seeing, sipping early morning coffee together, church activities, traveling, good barbeque, feeding our semi-pet mockingbird and each other's company. Not necessarily in that order.

School Story:

Fun memories? Stories I recall about Denver City? There are too many to list, so I will list a few of the first ones that come to mind and don't incriminate anyone.

I remember some great teachers - one of which was Mrs Roycroft. My most embarrassing moment in HS occurred in her class one day, showing off for a girl sitting next to me, but let’s not get into that. I especially remember Mrs Lula Jo Holcombe, the one teacher I was most scared of, whose class I tried my best to drop. And, no matter how hard I pleaded, Mr V.V. Vaughn would not allow it. By the end of that year, Mrs Holcomb and Spanish were my favorite teacher and subject. I loved that woman. I went on to major in and get my BA degree in Spanish. Other great teachers, Mr Bowman instilled in me a passion for History. Mr Bobby Fred, in Literature my junior year, stands out for his great teaching skill. I not only remember the way in which he taught the novels, “A Separate Peace” and “The Lord of the Flies,” but on certain occasions over the years I’ve had vivid flashback images of him standing in front of the class, and saying, “Mark it! Underline it - fifteen times in Red Ink!” He was not only a good, but a GREAT teacher!

I recall - during Track practice after school, Don Looney and maybe others (?) jumping from the stadium light towers, about 30 ft high, onto the foam squares pulled from the high jump and pole vault pits. I thought for sure someone was about to die. What were they thinking!?

I remember Butch Reed’s cream colored ’67 (?) Pontiac Lemans. I thought that was the finest sounding, hottest looking car in town (not to mention one of the prettiest girls in DCHS by his side most of the time, too). I NEVER once saw him hot-rod that car or even spin the tires. My guess was he was either scared of his dad, as I would have been, or else he had more self-control than anybody I knew. I know I would have been showing off in THAT car! Two other cars that I specifically remember lusting after were both Gary Short’s yellow on white ’55 Chevy Belaire and his ’61 Chevy Imala SS. I remember thinking that it was not quite fair for the rest of us since his dad OWNED the Chevy dealership! Also on my list, a very close honorable mention would go to Dana Webb’s (his mother’s) 68 Buick Skylark, GS 400, with the white leather bucket seats with shifter in middle console. Gosh, that was a hot, hot car, even with the automatic transmission. Later of course, he came up with the cherry red ‘67 Chevy Camaro with the tubbed rear-end. Dana had good taste in cars. Dana and I worked together after school, and on weekends, at Mustang Furniture. He was a good friend whom I had not heard of or from since I left DC. I am so sorry to read about Dana’s passing.

I vividly recall our principal, Mr. Kelly coming into 4th grade class one day and talking to us boys about staying in school and not dropping out, getting an education, etc. To make his point, he held up his hand with the stiff fingers, and gave us all a very good look, then said something like, “You boys in here, do you see this? This is what you get if you decide to drop out of school and go to work in the oil field on a pulling unit.” Ouch! I can still see him standing there in my mind today. He made his point quite vividly.

Who can forget Mrs. Francis Womack - the most realistic looking witch - EVER - at our Halloween Carnivals? She could have taken her act to Hollywood, ...she so looked the part! She was a wonderful, wonderful Christian lady, not to mention a dedicated teacher. There was never any doubt of her love for each and every one of us kids.

How many remember going to hear RUBINOFF AND HIS VIOLIN? 1967, Denver City Jr High School Auditorium (I still have the ticket stub). Google up David Rubinoff sometime.

It’s time to sign out, but I want to say how much I appreciate Judy’s work and others who put this website together that allows us to keep up with each other. Thank you, guys!

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Jan 31, 2024 at 2:20 PM

Happy Birthday, friend from long ago!

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Apr 07, 2019 at 12:21 AM

Happy Birthday, Leslee. Hoping it is a good one for you.

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Posted on: Aug 07, 2014 at 10:57 AM

My daughter Natalie and I at my niece Carla Sanders college graduation.
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