Meet the Neighbors: Rayford B. High Jr. & Ann Normand

by Meredith Kay | January 1, 2022 | Meet Your Neighbors

Meet the Neighbors: Rayford B. High Jr. & Ann Normand

Love Finds a Way

By Meredith Kay

Photography by Al Rendon

Upon meeting Rayford High and Ann Normand for the first time, you get a strong sense of peace. They just fit together and it’s obvious. The couple has only been married for four years, but they first met in the early 1970’s through The Episcopal Church, and throughout the years, their work with the church has taken them across Texas, and around the world, occasionally allowing their paths to cross again and again. In 1995 Ann was assigned to work for Rayford, and their families became close friends.

Born in Beaumont, Rev. Dr. Canon Ann Normand had always been active in the church, but it wasn’t until she turned 50 that she was “called” to become ordained. She began her education at Texas Tech, earning her B.S. in Education. She spent a few years teaching elementary school before making the decision to pursue her Master of Divinity at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, where she also earned her Doctor of Ministry. She then went on to earn a Doctorate in Stability at Virginia Theological Seminary, and currently serves as a canon at The Bishop Jones Center in Alamo Heights. Ann has three children from a previous marriage and is in the process of setting up their new home on Aylesbury Hill in Terrell Hills. 

The Rt. Rev. Rayford B. High was born and raised in Houston and attended TCU for two years before he was encouraged by his parish priest to pursue a career in ministry. He then transferred to Sewanee: The University of the South, a leading seminary school for the Episcopal Church, and then went on to further his studies at The Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, before returning to Texas. Rayford’s impressive career serving the diocese began at St. Francis in Victoria, where he and his wife had three children. His career has taken him to McAllen, Waco, and to Houston, where he became the bishop of the East Texas region before retiring in 2011 to care for his ailing wife. Following her death, Rayford then moved to Ft. Worth, but kept in touch with Ann, often spending weekends together as friends and confidantes.

The couple grew closer over the years, and in August of 2017, they were married at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Waco, where Rayford had spent 18 years as the rector of the church. They were joined by their six children and 14 grandchildren, along with countless friends and co-workers to celebrate their union. They both continued to be active within the church, and in 2020, Rayford was asked to come out of retirement to become the Assistant Bishop for The Episcopal Diocese of West Texas, and he moved to San Antonio with Ann to begin another chapter in their amazing lives.

Their home is calm and welcoming with antique pieces and ancient artifacts collected throughout their lifetimes of travel. The items are thoughtfully arranged creating a museum-like setting on shelves throughout the living area. Moving into their Terrell Hills home was a daunting process as the pair merged not only their lives as a new couple, but also several households across the state, each containing a lifetime of possessions. Rayford and Ann love their new home and they look forward to spending many years together in a community that they describe as “vibrant and inclusive”. 

In the vineyard 300x300 1

Half Texan on her mama’s side, Meredith grew up in Southern California and graduated from Pepperdine University, with a degree in Advertising. This allowed her to use words creatively, and to find her voice as a writer. She is a food enthusiast, and will eat anything but broccoli. Meredith has an incurable case of wanderlust, and she loves to cook, travel and eat. She spends her days raising two kids, and rescuing as many dogs as possible. She wanders the streets of San Antonio, and the rest of the world when she can, searching for great restaurants, tasty cocktails and interesting people. She is also still waiting for Shiner Bock to make her their official spokesperson.

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