RAY A. BARNHART
January 12, 1928 ??? May 26, 2013
RONALD B. DEAR
March 7, 1943 ??? July 17, 2013
The loss of two leaders of the conservative movement in Texas was recognized this month in memorial services held for Ray A. Barnhart and Ronald B. Dear.
On July 20th, friends and family gathered for a memorial service for Ray Barnhart at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin. Barnhart was aptly described by one author as ???the impassioned leader of Reagan???s pivotal Texas breakthrough??? for leading the Reagan forces to victory in every district of the state, resulting in one hundred delegates for Reagan at the 1976 Republican National Convention. Barnhart had served as a state representative and went on to become Republican State Chairman before being appointed Federal Highway Administrator during the Reagan Administration. He leaves his wife Jackie, daughters Whitney and Mallory, and a multitude of family, friends and fellow compatriots in the battle for individual freedom.
Two days later a number of friends and political associates met in Houston for the funeral of Ronald B. Dear. As a leader in Young Americans for Freedom, Dear???s involvement with the Reagan presidential effort went back to 1968 when he helped garner fifteen delegate votes from Texas for his candidate in Miami Beach. While Barnhart was an out-front co-chairman of the Texas Reagan campaign in 1976, Ron Dear provided the organizational and operational leadership. He later served as executive director of the American Conservative Union, as legislative assistant to Congressman Bill Archer of Texas, and for nearly twenty years as special assistant to Harris County Judge Jon Lindsay. Throughout his life Ron overcame many challenges but persisted with grace, confidence, and optimism, remaining a dedicated and committed conservative who closely followed political happenings and supported various candidates and causes.
Texas and the entire conservative movement have lost two giants who contributed much to the cause of freedom.