1929 – 2022

Corpus Christi, Texas – Herbert Ray Fondren was joyfully embraced by his Lord in Heaven on March 5, 2022 after being a faithful servant in the kingdom of God for a lifetime. Herbert, a life-long resident of Corpus Christi, was born December 2, 1929, as one of four children to Walter S. and Evy Fondren. He worked hard even as a child on his family’s farm off Holly Road. He graduated from Sundeen High School, then served in a youth ministry at church before enlisting in the U.S. Navy where he served during the Korean War aboard the USS Yorktown.

After his Naval service, Herbert worked for Pittsburgh Plate Glass and then Horton Glass Company. In 1962, Herbert and a coworker, Randy Thurman, opened Thurman-Fondren Glass Company, a very successful business which Herbert personally operated for nearly 60 years. He was a board member of the National Glass Association and the company was a member of the Coastal Bend Home Builders Association. Herbert was a self-made business man and entrepreneur, and was always looking for new investments. Along with business partners, he was among the first to open several mini-storage facilities in Corpus Christi, which are very successful.

While working for PPG, Herbert met the love of his life, Joyce Herron, and after a three-month courtship, they married on September 7, 1956. They began a beautiful journey together and had four daughters, Patricia, Denise, Raelene and Misty, whom Herbert loved dearly, and raised them in a loving Christian home. The Fondren home was a refuge for many and a place where friends and church youth gathered for fellowship and fun. Herbert was the epitome of a Godly husband and father. He was also a mentor to many young men, employing many of them at his business, and he had a significant impact on countless lives. He served as a deacon, Chairman of the Deacons and a dedicated teacher of God’s word at Gardendale Baptist Church. He also loved singing in the choir and especially the men’s quartet. Herbert went on to serve as an active leader in other churches and he and Joyce were founding members of Summit Church Texas.

Herbert and Joyce loved vacationing with family and traveling the world. They had many adventures together like riding camels in Egypt and visiting the Holy Land. He went skiing in New Mexico with family, sky diving at the age of 70 and ziplining in his 80s. He was an avid classic car collector, and he loved taking his grandchildren for rides in them, many times in local parades! He had a special relationship with each of his grandchildren and loved spending time with them. He also enjoyed hobbies like softball, golf and jogging.

Herbert is preceded in death by his wife, Joyce Fondren; mother, Evy Fondren; father, Walter S. Fondren; sister, Marie Everhart; brother, Melvin Fondren; and twin brother, Hubert Fondren. He is survived by four daughters: Patricia Smith, Denise (and Tony) Bugg, Raelene Fondren, and Misty (and Tim) Cappolino; nine grandchildren: Rebekah (and Jeremiah) Rankin, Derick Smith, Rachel (and Allan) Zapeta, Alyssa (and Jared) Wade, Shaun Barcroft, Heather Barcroft, Chad Clements, Amber (and Tim) Fondren, Andrew Clements, and eight great-grandchildren, Audrey (and Diego) Tolentino; Jaxon, Spencer and Zander Rankin; Hannah and Olivia Wade, Samuel Barcroft, and Mila Fondren.

Visitation will be held on Saturday, March 12, 2022 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and the Funeral Service same day at 11:30 a.m. at Summit Church Texas. Interment to follow at Seaside Memorial Park. The family welcomes donations to Summit Church Texas.