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Louis Rackley

1943 ~ 2021

Funeral: 2:00 p.m. Thursday, January 14, 2021 at Thompson’s Harveson & Cole Funeral Home.

Visitation: 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, January 13 at Thompson’s Harveson & Cole and at 1:00 p.m. Thursday prior to funeral.

Interment: Laurel Land Memorial Park.

Louis Carl Rackley, 77 years young, beloved husband, brother, brother-in-law, and uncle died peacefully on Sunday January 10, 2021.

Born on August 22, 1943 in Jackson Mississippi to parents Louis Earl Rackley and Frances Lamb Rackley. He lived in Mississippi and Florida until the family moved to Los Angeles California. Then they relocated to Fort Worth in 1956. He graduated from Arlington Heights High School in 1961 and continued his education at TCU. As a young boy he joined the Boy Scouts of America and became an Eagle Scout, an achievement of which he was very proud. In High School he began collecting butterflies and bugs and continued this collection through out his life. He liked to ride dirt bikes as a young man through areas around Fort Worth and Arlington and once saved his brother-in-law from going over a cliff. He had a motorcycle he drove back and forth to work at Shovel Supply in Dallas for many years. Louis also rode his motorcycle into the backcountry of Canyonlands National Park, Utah.

He was a technical artist and photographer and was a member of the Fort Worth Camera Club and General Dynamics Camera Clubs. Louis was president of the Fort Worth Camera Club 1980-81. One year he was awarded 2nd place in a photo contest because the judge ruled his photo was too perfect. In her opinion it was a photo of a painting. He loved to take pictures and share them with friends and family. His camera was always with him on vacations and trips. Louis and his best friend Terry backpacked and hiked various national parks throughout the United States – Texas, Utah, New Mexico and the Pacific Northwest. Louis and Terry met at the Camera Club and became quick friends. They hiked Wheeler Peak, New Mexico’s highest peak and Pecos Wilderness. During the Wheeler Peak hike, Louis befriended a Golden Retriever, who followed then all the way up the peak and back down. They drove the dog to the town where someone knew him and took him home. In 1980, they traveled to Yellowstone National Park where they made two overnight hikes. Every Saturday of 2020, Louis and Terry had “Terry Talks.” They were political opposites which made for many long discussions.

Louis hired on at General Dynamics in 1976 as an Engineering Illustrator, then in October of 1982 he was promoted to an Engineering Illustrator Editor. In December 1986, Louis was promoted to Engineer in Publication Editors Senior. Louis worked on the F-111, F16 and the A12 Programs. The members of his group said Louis was always joking and clowning around with his lighthearted humor. While he was vacationing in 2001, he was given notice of being laid off. He came back in 2002 as a contract laborer and worked for about 9 months with an Engine Check group and then retired in 2003.

Louis met his wife Judy in 1983, they dated for 2 years and were married on July 5th, 1985. He cancelled their first date to start building a house that took 28 years to complete. He designed and built an underground house. He built all the forms for the 1 foot thick cement walls. He did great research on the construction for the walls, steel frame, plumbing, and electrical. In essence, he became his own contractor for his first home. The reason it took so long was because Louis wanted to pay as he went and not take out a loan and was doing it all himself. Retiring in 2003 allowed Louis to work full time on their home; prior to this he was only able to work on it evenings and weekends. He and Judy moved into their beautiful home on Memorial Day 2011.

Louis loved to travel and he and Judy took many trips throughout the United States. Their favorite destination was Las Vegas, even though they did not gamble. They made many trips to Las Vegas checking out the beautiful hotels and gift shops, walking the strip, and seeing at least 2 Vegas shows during each trip. Whenever a new hotel was built Louis and Judy planned a trip to stay in the new hotel and check it out. In 1990, Louis and Judy met Bryan and Debbie, a younger couple, that they began traveling with. Brian would plan out and organize the trips and they have many wonderful memories with them over the years going to Hawaii, Canada, Colorado, California.

One of their favorite past times after Judy retired was going to movies. This enabled them to go during the week and avoid crowds. They would see at least 2 movies a week, sometimes 2 a day. Louis loved all movies and said the special effects could only be appreciated on the Big Screen! Every year Louis would show the progression of the house building on their famous annual Christmas card. It was something all their family and friends looked forward to receiving every year. Louis would put items to find in the cards each year. Many friends and family have kept these cards over the years for some favorite memories. Unfortunately, in 2020 Louis’ MAC computer broke and there was no 2020 Christmas card. Louis told them they would receive 2020 and 2021 next year.

Louis was an avid animal lover. Louis and Judy always had cats and dogs, and any stray that came onto their property had a home with them. Their oldest cat, Callie, slept on top of her “daddy” every night. The recent weeks have been very trying on her as she missed her daddy. Louis was famous for sending out daily cat memes to family and friends. He had a big heart and was always willing to help his family and friends in any way he could.

Survivors: Wife of 35 years, Judy Rackley, sister Ann Waltrip and husband Bill of Southlake, nephew, Chris Waltrip and wife Kristin of Austin, niece, Amy Blisard and husband Sam of Virginia, and great nephew, Jack Blisard. On Judy’s side, her brother Arthur and Eve Allis of Pennsylvania, sisters Janice and Larry Meadlin and Joanne and Rick Onstott. Many Nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews and a great great nephew.