Community leader leaves legacy of service
For those who knew him, Raymond Hartfield will be remembered as a man who loved to serve his family, friends and the community. For 14 years he served on the Round Rock ISD board of trustees and spent countless hours petitioning for citywide initiatives.
“Raymond was very much the heart and soul of a lot of the really great things that we’ve seen in Round Rock in the last 10 or 15 years at least,” said Landy Warren, executive vice president at First Texas Bank in Round Rock. Warren served with Hartfield on several boards and steering committees, he said.
Hartfield died June 12 at age 64 after a battle with cancer.
“I just know the whole community mourns his death,” said Judy McLeod, a former Round Rock ISD board member. “The saddest thing is, he was too young.”
In 2011, Hartfield was co-chairman of a committee for the betterment of Round Rock, “Yes for Round Rock,” which supported 10 various ballot proposals. All 10 propositions passed, including Proposition 10, which allows the city to use its 1/2 cent Type B sales tax revenue for all applicable economic development uses under state law. Proposition 9 authorized the city to finance a sports and community venue and related infrastructure, and create a 2 percent hotel occupancy tax to finance it.
“Raymond was a member of the organizing committee and served as the co-chair for the committee that organized the campaign for voter awareness of the propositions,” co-chairman Jim Shelgren said. “Even while dealing with his health issues, Raymond’s personal time and effort remained true to the community he loved.”
After graduating from the University of Southern Mississippi with degrees in music, chemistry and physics, he taught seven years of high school science and two years of undergraduate physics. He came to Round Rock in 1978 with his wife, Ann.
He later changed careers before accepting a position in 1992 as AT&T Texas’ education director.
His commitment to education extended beyond his job duties. While on the school board, Hartfield served two years as president and two years as vice president.
“He was the smartest man I’ve ever met. He was just brilliant,” Round Rock Mayor Pro Tem Kris Whitfield said. “I would say [his legacy will be] all of his work toward education, whether public or higher education, that will live on for years and years to come. Many students will benefit from all the work he did for that.”
In 2008 Hartfield co-chaired ACCTion 4 Education, a political action committee focused on bringing Austin Community College to Round Rock.
“He was tireless in his advocacy,” Warren said.
His commitment to the community led to him being named Citizen of the Year in 2010 by the Round Rock Chamber of Commerce, and just before his death, he was honored with the chamber’s Lifetime Achievement Award, McLeod said.
He will be honored posthumously at the chamber’s annual awards banquet in September, she said.
“He was positive and determined, and when he set a goal, he achieved it,” McLeod said. “He was faithful and hardworking. He worked to achieve good things.”