McMurry University honors Don and Gaynelle Riffe with Cross and Flame Award

  Gary Ellison
  Thursday, September 4, 2014 2:48 PM
  Archives 2014 - 2015

Abilene, TX

Don and Gaynelle Riffe of Stratford, Texas, owners of Stratford Grain Company, have been chosen as the 2014 Northwest Texas Annual Conference recipient of the McMurry University Cross & Flame Award. 

Over the years, the Riffes have shown a profound commitment to the United Methodist Church and McMurry University.  They will be recognized at the 11 a.m. Sunday worship service on Sept. 14 at Stratford United Methodist Church.

Established in 2000 by the McMurry Alumni Association, this award is given to strengthen the relationship between McMurry University and the United Methodist Church by recognizing individuals for service to their churches and to the University.

The Riffes have faithfully alternated serving as McMurry Ambassadors in First United Methodist Church in Stratford and regularly ask McMurry students to visit their church and share their McMurry experience. They encourage students to attend McMurry and have a wonderful line of communication with the University.

Gaynelle and Don are very active in the church and community. Gaynelle played in the Bell Choir, teaches third and fourth grade Sunday school, works with VBS, is active in United Methodist Women, on the Administrative Board in several capacities, and on several committees. She is very active in her community, working with Girl Scouts/Boy Scouts, City Beautification, Chamber of Commerce, Ports to Plains, and CASA advocate. She has been recognized as Citizen of the year and received the “Seven Who Care Award” which was given to seven in the Panhandle area who made their area of the world better by dedicated service to the community.

Don was the Church Lay Leader for many years, Sunday School teacher, and has served on the Administrative Board and on several committees. He is active in United Methodist Men and serves as a conference delegate. He has been trustee of McMurry (joined the Board in 1973) and has served on many committees for McMurry. He is also active in the community serving on the school board and as a CASA advocate. He has been recognized as Citizen of the Year and Business person of the Year.   

Don is a grain dealer. The Riffes have three daughters, two sons, and nine grandchildren. Two daughters attended McMurry: Laura Riffe Carter '82 married to Stan Carter '82 and Diann Riffe Williams '88 married to Wade Williams '88, and one granddaughter attended McMurry: Kylie Carter Prather '06 (daughter to Laura and Stan).

Don once said when his daughter, Laura Riffe Carter ’82, was in college and he was serving on the Board for the first time that he wished he had attended McMurry, because it had a lot going for it and it sounded like the kind of place where he wished he could be called an alumnus. He enjoyed getting the alumni newsletters from McMurry. He received his B.B.A. from Southern Methodist University.

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