Raymond (Ray) Charles Tesmer, 81, of Round Rock, passed away Aug. 27, 2020. He was born on Aug. 28, 1938, in Taylor.
Ray was a well-known Texas Western Swing musician and played with numerous bands throughout his life. He played the guitar and fiddle and was a gifted vocalist. He backed artists including Floyd Tillman, Hank Thompson, Johnny Gimble, Frenchie Burke and Johnny Bush.
Ray enjoyed and followed the music styles of Chet Atkins, Bob Wills, George Strait, and Asleep at the Wheel.
Through many years of performing, Ray made significant contributions to the preservation of Texas Western Swing music, entertaining thousands of people. He was inducted into the Cowtown Society of Western Swing Music, the Western Swing Society of Texas and the California Western Swing Hall of Fame.
In 2014, Ray received a Western Swing Hero Award and was recognized by the Governor Rick Perry of Texas for his musical accomplishments.
As a young man, Ray served in the United States Army and the Texas Army National Guard as a tank commander in Company B, Third Battalion of the 49th Armored Division, achieving the rank of Staff Sergeant.
Ray left military service in February 1967, and then went to work for the State of Texas Adjutant General’s Department. He later joined the Texas Highway Department, becoming a Human Resources Personnel Officer and retired after serving 25 years.
Ray was preceded in death by his mother, Lydia Tesmer and father Carl William Tesmer.
He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Bernice Tesmer; and his son Darrell Tesmer of Round Rock, his son Dean Tesmer and spouse Ellen Stewart of Austin; daughter, Jean Hertel and spouse Scott Hertel of Round Rock; four beloved grandchildren, Emily and Nicholas Tesmer and Reese and Riley Hertel. He is also survived by his brother, William Tesmer and his spouse Barbara of Corsicana.
Ray also leaves behind a beloved pet, Taco, a Chihuahua who gave him much joy and comfort in his final years.
Visitation and viewing will be Tuesday, Sept. 1, from noon to 5 p.m. at Beck Funeral Home located at 15709 Ranch Road 620 N., Austin. The family will receive invited guests from 5 to 7 that evening.
Graveside services will be held Wednesday, Sept. 2, at 10 a.m. at Palm Valley Lutheran Church Cemetery located at 500 E Palm Valley Blvd in Round Rock.
Ray’s family asks that in lieu of flowers that donations may be made to the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM) or The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. We express our heartfelt gratitude to the many medical professionals and caregivers and Ray’s family and friends who have provided him and us with comfort and support.