Frederick (Fred) Wilson Traylor passed away Saturday, April 25, 2020 at the age of 80. He was born in Ada, Oklahoma on December 14, 1939, the son of Idris Rhea Traylor and Betsy Bradney Traylor. He grew up in Greenville and Lubbock, where he graduated from Monterey High School and attended Texas Tech University.
Fred was attracted to the cotton industry since childhood, spending each summer in Harlingen where his father, who owned a cotton company with offices in several states, handled a large portion of the cotton crop of the Rio Grande Valley. Fred joined his father in the business, Idris Traylor Cotton Co, later Traylor Cotton Company, making him the third generation to work within the industry. Fred served as president of the Lubbock Cotton Exchange, president of the Texas Cotton Association, and was a director of the Oklahoma Cotton Exchange and of the National Cotton Council. The US Secretary of Agriculture appointed Fred to the USDA's Cotton Advisory Committee, and he served as president of the American Cotton Shippers Association, with various assignments in Europe and Asia. His retirement in 2019 ended 108 years of the Traylor family's involvement in the cotton industry that always included the Rio Grande Valley. In 1960 he married Jimmie Louise Scott. They had a son, Christopher Rhea Traylor. He remarried in 2009 to Carol Wilson Hale and they enjoyed a happy decade together.
In 1990 he was professionally named "Cotton Man of the Year," a number of quotations from those who nominated him for the honor clearly defined his character: "Fred is a hard-working , honorable man," and "integrity, honesty, a pleasing manner and fair dealing." He enjoyed golf and the company of his many friends, by whom he will be greatly missed. He is survived by his beloved wife, Carol, by his son, Christopher Rhea Traylor, a grandson, Fenner William Traylor, a granddaughter, Betsy Claire Traylor and a brother, Dr. Idris Rhea Traylor, Jr. His second family includes Carol's sons and daughter, Allen Hale, wife Brandy and four children, Scott Hale, wife Kari and two children and Jennifer Ruley (Hale), husband David and two children.
The family wishes to express its appreciation to the kind and capable Hospice caregivers who tended Fred during the final weeks.
A memorial service will be held in the Fall.
Those wishing to honor Fred may make memorial contributions to the First United Methodist Church, the Greater Valley Hospice, both of Harlingen or to a favorite charity.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Frederick "Fred" W. Traylor, please visit our floral store.