Del Rio has a lot going for it. There is a diverse and friendly population, great weather and beautiful Lake Amistad. Plus Del Rio is poised for economic growth, with increased efforts in place to attract more business and industry to the community.
Col. Tom Murphy knows about the positive aspects of Del Rio. The Massachusetts native arrived in Del Rio in 1989 to undergo pilot training at Laughlin Air Force Base, and eventually became assistant flight commander through August 1994. After being assigned to several different states after that, Murphy returned to Laughlin AFB in July 2010 and today is commander of the 47th Flying Training Wing.
“The great thing about returning to Del Rio in 2010 was seeing some of the same faces I knew when I was here in the early 1990s,” Murphy says. “Guys like Lonnie Ricks, who owned Ricks Furniture where I bought furniture for my first home. It is now Ashley Furniture, and Lonnie is still there.”
Regarding activities and recreation, Murphy says his wife, Carla, enjoys shopping and the city’s restaurants, while the couple’s son, Tommy, plays varsity baseball for Del Rio High School.
“I like going to Roosevelt Park to watch Tommy, and hang around with all the other parents,” he says. “People are really friendly in Del Rio. I notice it often.”
Never Wanted to Leave
One resident who arrived in the city in 1968 and never departed is Donna Langford, director of the Del Rio Convention and Visitors Bureau. Langford and her husband, Bill, moved from Abilene to Del Rio in 1968 so that Bill could begin teaching automotive technology at the brand new high school.
“We got involved in our church, our young daughter's school, my husband's school, and we made a lot of friends,” Langford says. “We never wanted to leave.”
Langford eventually worked for the school district and then owned a hair salon, and for the past 15 years has been with the Del Rio Convention and Visitors Bureau.
“Bill and I raised two children who are successful, which speaks highly of the education system,” she says. “I have been happy in Del Rio for nearly 45 years.”
Home in Del Rio
A Del Rio native who left for college and then returned to the city is Al Arreola Jr. He is a 2000 graduate of San Felipe Del Rio and attended Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, and in 2010 was appointed executive director of the Del Rio Chamber of Commerce.
“I know there are many like me who want to come back home to Del Rio, so as we look to the future, we need to make sure our economic growth can offer opportunities for all our generations,” Arreola says. “There is a saying: 'I’m not from Texas, but got here as soon as I could.' Well I’m from Texas, but I’m especially blessed that I’m home in Del Rio.”
Find more on why Del Rio, TX is a great place to live.