We lost an old friend last week: John Ray, of Lubbock, TX. We met John and his first wife Alma when the girlies were little, and shared their interests in hunting, the backwoods and general adventure. We went to the same church, and shared the same circle of friends.
Alma died of cancer, and John eventually moved to southern Colorado. We went to see him and wife #2 there, on their buffalo ranch. After their divorce, John moved back to his beloved Texas. Although the ties were stretched, he would stop and visit occasionally, and we always considered him not just a "friend," but a good one.
He was diagnosed with terminal cancer back in February...and went far too quickly. Our loving thoughts are with him -- and his wife Dona, who he left behind.
I bet you've already gone out big game hunting in Heaven, John. P.S. I've already got plans to tease you about the middle name you never mentioned!
From the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal:
John Steven Morningsky Ray, 61, of Lubbock, TX was born in Norman, OK. His primary school years were spent in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, after which his family moved to Lubbock, where he graduated from Monterey High in 1966. John attended Texas Tech and graduated from Texas A&M with a degree in Business. He married Alma Boyd after graduation, and they moved to Colorado. He served in the United States Army Reserves as an E5. An entrepreneur, John started and owned several businesses. In 1992 he retired to enter into full-time Christian service with Overseas Christian Servicemen's Centers (OCSC). After his wife's death, he moved to the San Luis Valley where he raised cattle and buffalo and operated a hunting lodge and guided buffalo hunts. In 2002, he returned to Lubbock and began investing in real estate.
John was a member of the Safari Club and Gideons International for more than 30 years, serving in several leadership positions. Although a successful businessman and avid hunter who has hunted on 6 continents, his passion was to share his faith. Whether handing out Bibles as a Gideon or pursuing short-term overseas missions, John has been a "missionary" wherever he was, ever-ready to share his faith in Jesus to anyone he met.
John went home to be with the Lord Wednesday, June 16, 2010 at his home in Lubbock after a short battle with cancer.
Survivors include his wife, Dona Rayne Ray, who he married in August 2008; an aunt, Mary Kinnaman of Delta, CO; a nephew, Mark Bond of Plano, TX; 3 step-children, Richard Rayne and his wife Kris of Tallahassee, FL and Celeste Rayne Dove and Lynelle Elliott, both of Berlin, MD. He had seven step-grandchildren, Ronald and Kenneth Rayne, James Hill, Kinsey Camelio, and Brooke, Trace and Ava Elliott. His sister, Dr. Cathy Ray, died in 2005 and his brother, Joseph Ray, died in 1995.
Memorial services will be at 1:00 p.m., Sunday, June 20, 2010 at Redeemer Church, 6402 Elgin Ave., with Pastor Dusty Thompson and Pastor William Hamilton officiating.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorials go to Gideons International, P.O. Box 64291, Lubbock, TX 79464.