William Sylvester Ray "Bill", age 85, passed away on February 2, 2017 in Buhl, Idaho. Bill was born in Coburg, Oregon July 28, 1931 to Harold LeMoine Ray and Ruhama Adair Ray. At approximately age 10, the family moved to Prineville, Oregon. He graduated from Crook County High School in Prineville, then attended BYU for a year before serving an LDS church mission for two and a half years in Denmark. On January 9, 1954, he married Mildred Ann Allen, and they were sealed in the LDS Logan, Utah Temple on October 3, 1955.
Bill joined the Air Force in 1954 and served stateside at Scott Air Force base in Bellevue, Illinois and Selfridge Air Force Base in Michigan during the years of the Korean War. During their time in Michigan, he and Millie were blessed with three children, and enjoyed traveling to see northeastern US sites including the "Hill Cumorah Pageant" near Palmyra, New York and Niagara Falls.
After his military discharge in 1957, he and his family moved back to central Oregon and through the years, lived in both Bend and Prineville. He attended Central Oregon Community College in Bend and their family was blessed with five more children, all born in Prineville. Bill had a long career in construction. Many of his children enjoyed traveling with he and Millie to visit perspective jobs or to learn about construction practices when taking him lunch or working beside him. He built two beautiful homes in which his family lived. He spent the latter part of his career as a roofing contractor, and continued his roofing company after moving to Payson, Utah in 1975. He completed many jobs through out the western United States, and instilled in his children a strong work ethic. Many times he helped his children by offering them work.
In the late 1960's he and his family took a memorable vacation to San Francisco with six young children in tow. Through out his life, Bill, Millie, and their family visited Disneyland, and many well-known National parks such as Yellowstone, Mesa Verde, Crater Lake, Arches, Zions, Capital Reef, Bryce, and Canyon Lands, as well as numerous state parks, lakes, and recreational areas. He enjoyed many hours of boating on Utah Lake with his children and friends. After he retired, Bill and Millie traveled to The Blue Ridge Mountains in Appalachia to meet Millie's extended family and see genealogical sites. They also visited many church history sites throughout Missouri. Bill and Millie made it a point to attend every possible family baby blessing, baptism, and confirmation as well as weddings and reunions.
He was an avid genealogist and worked to extend his family genealogy, as well as help Millie extend hers. He loved to read non-fiction and church books, as well a good novel. He had a great fondness for westerns and accumulated a large collection of Louis L'Amour books. He enjoyed puzzles of all kinds, and was quite adept with 3-D puzzles. He also found time be a dedicated member of the Kiwanis while he lived in Payson, Utah.
Bill was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints his entire life. He worked at the Genealogy Library in Orem, Utah, served as an early morning Seminary teacher and Stake Missionary Leader in the Bend, Oregon Stake, and was a lifetime missionary in addition to multiple other leadership positions. He was a good example to his children, even though he often jokingly professed to be “ornery, disagreeable, grumpy, ill tempered and hard to get along with”.
He was preceded in death by both of his parents, Harold and Ruhama; one brother, Daniel LeMoine Ray; a daughter-in-law Cindy Giles Ray; a granddaughter, Chelci Anna Hone; and a great grandson, Gideon Michael Harty.
Bill will be missed greatly by his surviving wife, Mildred Ann Allen Ray of Jerome, ID; two brothers, Charles Leonard Ray (Leann) of Pleasant Grove, UT, and Robert Ashford Ray of Marshville, MO; two sisters, Naty Alice Ray Bowen (Eugene) of Carson, WA, and Mary Ray James of Loa, UT; as well as his eight children; Tisha R. Ray Harty (Doug) of Castiac, CA, Becky J. Clarkson (Dirk) of Jerome ID, William A. Ray (Cindy) of Winnemucca, NV, Melanie A. Ray Millett (Robb) of Payson, UT, Samuel L. Ray (Sherryn) of Mt Pleasant, UT, Kirsten W. Ray Fullmer (Steve) of Fairmont, WV, Sara S. Ray Norris (Lee) of Jerome, ID, and Twilla D. Ray Mann (Tyler) of Provo, UT; as well as twenty-seven grandchildren and forty-two great-grandchildren.
The family would like to thank the staff of Desert View Care Center for their loving care for our father. We greatly appreciate their concern, thoughtfulness, and kindness.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday, February 8, 2017, 12:00 Noon, at Jerome Second Ward LDS Church, 50 East 100 South, Jerome, Idaho with a viewing one hour prior to service. Graveside services will conclude at Jerome Cemetery.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family on Bill's memorial webpage at www.farnsworthmortuary.com.