Willis W. Ray, 71, of Milton, Indiana, passed away peacefully on November 30, 2019, following an extended battle with dementia.
He was born on January 7, 1948, to Glen and Estella Frances Ray at home in Barnardsville, North Carolina. He attended Anderson School in Barnardsville through 8th grade and graduated from North Buncombe High School in 1966.
Willis proudly served in the U.S. Army from 1968-1970. He was a member of the 1st Cav and flew his flag high. Garryowen. Like many who served in Vietnam, he dealt with the devastating effects of Agent Orange.
Before and after his military service, Willis worked for 38 years at Ball Brothers/Saint Gobain. First in Asheville, North Carolina and then in Dunkirk, Indiana until he retired. He could tell you everything Ball jars.
He is survived by his wife, Kathy Starkey Ray, whom he married on October 1, 2005; his children, Tanya (Greg) Roberts, Phillip (Ginny) Ray, Mac (Sarah) Gerkin and Charlie (Crystal) Gerkin; 7 grandchildren, Marie, Sydney, Kenna, Mac, Franklin, James and Easton Gerkin; a sister, Irma Bailey and niece, Annette Griffith. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, J C Ray.
Family and friends may call at Waskom Capitol Hill Chapel in Cambridge City, Indiana, from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, December 5, 2019, to reminisce, support each other and just visit. Also to attend the funeral on Friday, December 6, 2019, at 1 p.m. Burial will be in Zions Cemetery in Pershing, Indiana. Paul Gearhardt, Willis’ pastor at New Testament Church of Christ, will conduct the services.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Samaritan’s Purse, Operation Heal Our Patriots, PO Box 3000, Boone, NC 28607 or the Muncie Mission, 1725 S. Liberty, Muncie, IN 47302.
Online condolences to www.waskoms.com.