Friday, August 3, 2012

In Honor of: Lt. Col. Darel M. Ray (Retired)

It truly has been a very long month, then some. My poor dad/father-in-law faught for his life, battling cancer for two years. Phenomena finally knocking him down to a point that he couldn't get back up and took his last breath. Lt. Col. Darel M. Ray (Retired) lost his biggest fight on the evening of July the 19th. 2012...Of sound mind to the very end, this GREAT man without complaint, took a silent breath and slipped past those who stood around his hospital bed. Not as much as a slight twitch to show he had made his final departure. The ladies praying, his sons glancing around, gloom on their brows with dismay locked in their thoughts.

It took a full week to complete the cremation due to the Military paper work that had to be filed...along with several others. The Funeral was beautiful...

                                Born   Oct. 20th, 1933  Died July. 19th, 2012

Darel's life career began by attending the University of Oklahoma on an athletic scholarship, and he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1960. He later earned his master's degree from Webster University.

His military career began with the U.S. Marine Corps, where he served two years. He later joined the U.S. Air Force, where he enjoyed a prestigious career as a field maintenance commander serving three isolated tours in Vietnam. He was officer in charge of the Thunderbird crash investigative team in Nevada and was a military adviser to Saudi Arabia.

He was recognized with numerous awards and medals, including the Bronze Star Medal, FTD Commander of the Year and the Meritorious Service Award. He was a Roman Catholic convert active in religious instruction and member of several committees. Darel was a member of the 1956 national champion Oklahoma Sooners football team and was awarded a game ball from the 1959 Orange Bowl.

He was also a Division I college quarterback coach at the University of Oklahoma, Baylor University and Arizona State University.

His interests included football, thoroughbred race horses, classic cars, gold panning with lifelong friend Don Marr, pool, model trains, guns and he loved to go to garage sales.

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Mabel L. Ray; sons Darel Duane Ray, of Ruidoso, David Ray and wife, Robin, of Eunice, and Dennis Ray, of Alamogordo; five grandchildren, Darel Duane Jr. (D.J.) and wife, Angie, of Medford, Ore., Kysha McBee and husband, Robby, of Eunice, Jordan Ray, of Ruidoso, and Brittany and Denise Ray, of Alamogordo; five great-grandchildren, Madison, Kyron, Akasha, Shya and Carson; and sisters-in-law Terrie Ray, JoAnn Marrujo and Lilly Aguilar.

He will be forever missed...and forever Loved!!!