Ruth LaFern “Fern” Horan Chiles, 86, peacefully passed away on Sunday, March 15, at her home in Harlingen, Texas. Fern was born November 10, 1933 in Ennis, Texas, one of seven children of Carl and Ruth Gambill Horan.
Raised in Ennis, Fern left after high school to attend college in Houston. She worked for Allstate Insurance and it was during this time that she met Ralph. They were married on June 18, 1960 and enjoyed 43 years together until his passing in 2003.
Much of their life together was spent in the Houston area where they were members of Texaco Country Club and routinely played golf. They enjoyed fishing in the nearby Gulf of Mexico and beachcombing in Galveston.
Fern and Ralph traveled extensively, having visited at least five continents and many countries. They were always up for an adventure and chose to travel by airplane, train, automobile and boat. Although some of their trips did not turn out to be as expected, you could count on Fern to relive the trip with humor and laughter that could brighten any day. Fern enjoyed planning trips for groups of family and friends. Their favorite place to visit was Acapulco where they made many local friends throughout their twenty plus years of annual visits.
Having retired to Harlingen in 1981, Fern was well known in the area and especially by Palm Valley Country Club residents and members. Everyone who knew Fern was touched by her special blend of generosity, love, caring, and laughter. Her joy of cooking and entertaining her many friends was her passion. Fern loved to play bridge as well as support local charitable foundations including Fishes and Loaves and Valley Baptist Medical Center where her generous donation created the Hospice Family Room.
We wish to thank her housekeeper of many years, Aurora, who was a great friend and her care givers, past and present; especially Francis and Mendy for all their help and love. Most importantly, a thank you to close friends Keith Cox and Tom Mason for their immense support and friendship. Through it all, Keith and Fern formed a love that only family shares. Also, a special thank you to John and Beth Fuqua for the many years of friendship.
Having lost her only child in his infancy, Fern is survived by her “adopted” children, Sharon Davenport (Palestine, TX) and Gregg Fletcher (Palm Springs, Ca.) sister, Inez Wallace (Houston), niece Nancy Paul, (California), nephews David Lamb and Charles Keel, several great nieces and nephews and many close friends.
Per her wishes, there will be no public services. A private memorial gathering and scattering of her ashes will take place at a future date. She asked that any desired Memorials be made to St. Albans Episcopal Church, Harlingen, or Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston.
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