TVPPA is saddened to announce that former TVPPA Chairman Ray Azbell died Dec. 6 at the age of 97.

A Sheffield, AL, native, Mr. Azbell was a registered professional engineer who served as an officer in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He was recalled to active military duty during the Korean Conflict.

He began his civilian career as chief engineer at Sheffield Power & Water. He was later promoted to Power Department manager and then, in 1971, was named general manager of Sheffield Utilities.

Mr. Azbell had a remarkable run in the mid-1980s; when TVPPA launched Distributors Insurance Co. in 1983, he was elected to serve as DIC’s first chairman. In 1984, he was elected TVPPA vice chairman.

Then, in 1985, Mr. Azbell was elected not only to a one-year term as TVPPA chairman, but to a seat on the American Public Power Association (APPA) Board of Directors as well. He also won TVPPA’s highest individual honor, the Distinguished Service Award, that same year.

Mr. Azbell is survived by a son and daughter, their spouses, five grandchildren and a great-granddaughter.