In Memory

Bill Ray (Storeroom Supervisor) - Class of 1990

Bill Ray

MISSOULA - William "Bill" James Ray, 76, of Missoula passed away Wednesday, January 22, 2003, at St. Patrick Hospital of natural causes. He was born April 1, 1926, in Grady, Oklahoma, to Bonnie Russell and Noah Dunford.

Bill moved to Vernon, Texas, at an early age. He assumed the surname Ray from his stepfather. Bill then moved to Ponca City, Oklahoma, at the age of 9 and attended Ponca City schools until the age of 17.

He then enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served from April 1943 until April 1946 in the aviation section. Bill served on Samar in the Philippine Islands. He loved to tell the story of when he spent 99 days on a troop ship from San Francisco to the Philippines.

Bill attended Wichita University from 1946 to 1950 and earned his bachelor's degree in business administration. His first love at that time was aviation. He worked at the Wichita Municipal Airport for three years and was a private pilot.

Bill married Patricia Ann Linot on April 26, 1952, and together they had four children. He worked for Standard Oil (Amoco) for 20 years and then for the Champion Co. and later Stone Container for 14 years.

Bill loved baseball and coached the Mount Sentinel Senior All-Star Team in 1976. He was a dedicated New York Yankee. Bill was one of four originators of the over-45 men's softball league and managed the Stone Container team for several years. Bill loved Montana and often said, "If I live to be 100, I will always enjoy the wildlife, lakes and mountains of Montana."

Bill was preceded in death by two sons, Michael, and Mark Ray. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Pat; two daughters, Sue and Sally, both of Missoula; two grandsons, Sean and Ian Ray, and their mother Lisa Levesque, all of Missoula; four aunts, Cloris Fuchs, Joyce King and Maxine Lakey, all of Wichita Falls, Texas, and Grace Russell of Vernon; and several cousins.

Mass of the Resurrection was celebrated at Holy Family Catholic Church, with a reception following at the church.

The family suggests that memorials be made in Bill's name to Holy Family Catholic Church, 4616 Gharrett, Missoula, MT 59803; the Poverello Center; or to the charity of the donor's choice.

Arrangements were under the care and direction of Garden City Funeral Home and Crematory.

Rest in Peace dear Friend.