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Old 06-29-2021, 01:09 PM
smokyray's Avatar
smokyray smokyray is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: TX32
Posts: 1,953
Default My Dad

Lost a great aviator this week, my Dad.
Wrote a short blurb for him:

Dads Obituary
Retired Colonel Robert Garrett Ray went to meet his Lord and Savior on June 28th 2021. He was born to modest beginnings in a small farmhouse in Mars Hill NC, September 10th, 1930. He was the seventh of eight children of Avon and Carrie Ray. Growing up in the Great Depression taught him valuable life lessons of hard work, dedication and patriotism. Too young for World War 2 he would finish College, a first for male children of his family via a baseball scholarship at Mars Hill College. Later he would attend Masters teaching classes at Appalachian State Teachers College, now Appalachian University in Boone NC. This is where his life would be forever altered with the meeting of his future wife and life partner of sixty five years, Betsy June Hughes. Later he would change career desires from teaching to joining the fledgling United States Air Force. He would serve a tour in the Korean War as a crew member in the first radar equipped Jet Fighter, the F94B. He would later serve two more combat tours in Viet Nam as a crew member in the F105G Wild Weasel. Additionally he was instrumental in the U2 aircraft development at the famed Lockheed “Skunk Works”. During all this he would raise a family of three children, three grandchildren and move to countless locations around the globe and serve his country with honor.
He finally retired in 1980 after nearly 30 years of service. Throughout retirement he stayed active as a civilian flight instructor and aircraft inspector. He enjoyed Bluegrass music, flying and more than anything loved his family. He and Betsy were active members of Crosspoint Church in Niceville Florida.

Colonel Ray is survived his three children, three grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

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Old 06-29-2021, 01:16 PM
Norman CYYJ Norman CYYJ is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Victoria B.C.
Posts: 1,435

Sorry for your loss Smokey. Sounds like he was a great Dad.
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Old 06-29-2021, 01:41 PM
GimpyPilot GimpyPilot is offline
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Southern California
Posts: 112

We should all be so lucky to know illustrious men like your father. I'm sorry for your loss.
Michael K.
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Old 06-29-2021, 01:42 PM
rockwoodrv9 rockwoodrv9 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Meridian ID, Aspen CO, Okemos MI
Posts: 2,812

Very nice tribute Smoky. Im glad you have good memories of your father.
Williamston MI
O-320 D2A
Flying N376E
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Old 06-29-2021, 02:13 PM
Mike S's Avatar
Mike S Mike S is offline
Senior Curmudgeon
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Dayton Airpark, NV A34
Posts: 16,052
Default Sorry for your loss.

90+ good years.

Nice tribute----thanks for sharing.
Mike Starkey
VAF 909

Rv-10, N210LM.

Flying as of 12/4/2010

Phase 1 done, 2/4/2011

Sold after 240+ wonderful hours of flight.

"Flying the airplane is more important than radioing your plight to a person on the ground incapable of understanding or doing anything about it."
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Old 06-29-2021, 02:58 PM
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vfrazier vfrazier is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Mount Vernon, IN
Posts: 1,392

Sorry for your loss. He sounds like the kind of guy we'd all like to know.
Vince Frazier
F1 Rocket and F4 Raider components
1-888-F1AIRCRAFT (1-888-312-4727)
RV and Rocket Accessories, Tailwheels, Tools, & More
1-888-8FLYBOY (1-888-835-9269)

F4 Raider - under construction
F1-H Rocket "Crazy Horse" - sold
RV-4 "Chief Pontiac" - sold in 1994, purchased in 2018
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Old 06-29-2021, 03:15 PM
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Scott Chastain Scott Chastain is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: KMCE
Posts: 341
Default Prayers Are Yours Today


Thank you so much for sharing that wonderful tribute to your father who is the epitome of a generation which, today, goes largely unappreciated by another generation---a generation that seems at times completely oblivious to history itself. I haven't even met your father, but your tribute to him proves just how alive and well he really is, and even more inspiring is the guarantee that I will get to shake his hand someday. Better yet, I'll probably hug him. He did so much for me and my generation of Cold War babies.

Blessings to you, my friend!
Scott Chastain
RV-8 N898W Descending Dove
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Old 06-29-2021, 03:39 PM
scrollF4's Avatar
scrollF4 scrollF4 is offline
Moderator, Asst. Line Boy
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Flower Mound, TX
Posts: 1,625

Throwing a nickel on the grass.

Cheers to the Weasel warrior (and his fighter pilot son).
Clink - glug glug - SMASH!

The prayer light is on bright/flash.

Sid "Scroll" Mayeux, Col, USAF (ret)
52F NW Regional/Aero Valley Airport, Roanoke TX (home of DR's Van Cave)
"KELLI GIRL" N260KM RV-7A tipper
Catch her on YouTube's "Because I Fly!" channel

Exemption waived.
Proud and grateful 2021 -=VAF=- Contributor

PS: I am not an influencer. I have no influence. Just ask my kids.
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Old 06-29-2021, 03:48 PM
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N804RV N804RV is offline
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Mount Vernon, Wa
Posts: 805

Sorry for your loss Smokey.

Your dad surely was great man. I wish I'd met him!
Ken W.
Mount Vernon, WA
2020 VAF Supporter
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Old 06-29-2021, 04:55 PM
pierre smith's Avatar
pierre smith pierre smith is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Louisville, Ga
Posts: 7,911
Default Not sorry

I can’t be sorry for such a life well lived. He went out in peace, probably smiling.

A great man with a life well lived.

Later, Smoky.
Rv10 Sold
46 years ag pilot/CFI
Air Tractor 502/PT-6
Building RV-12, Wings, fuse, emp complete. FWF in progress.
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