The life of Jimmie Ray is a testament of a man who lived his life in the service of his community, his family, and the Lord. “Coach” Jimmie E. Ray, a long-time resident and beloved community leader, passed away at the age of 82 on Saturday, July 13th. He was born on December 19, 1936 in Tyler, Tx to Murphy and Luberta Ray. He was raised in Whitehouse, Tx and graduated from Stanton High School in May of 1955. He attended Tyler District College from August of 1955 – 1957. Jimmie served his country as a Private First Class (PFC) supply handler in the United States Army from May 26, 1957 to April 30, 1963. He enrolled at Texas College in 1961 and finished with his Bachelor of Arts degree in July of 1963. It was during his time at Texas College where he met his future wife, Melba Jean Johnson of Jacksonville, Tx. The pair married on August 6, 1964. After graduation, he was offered a position teaching math and basketball at Turner High School where he was affectionately known as “Coach” Ray. After teaching and coaching at Turner High School, Coach Ray was appointed the position of Assistant Principal at Waxahachie Junior High. He earned his Master of Education degree in December of 1973 from Texas A&M University, Commerce, formally known as East Texas State University. In 1974, Mr. Ray was appointed to the position of Assistant Principal of Waxahachie High School where he was very instrumental in the de-segregation process. During his tenure as Assistant Principal, he applied and was accepted to the Dallas Institute of Funeral Service where he pursued becoming a mortician. Mr. Ray graduated in 1981 and he co-purchased and operated the Ray-Thomas Funeral Home in Ennis, Tx successfully for 35 years. After 9 years of being an Assistant Principal of Waxahachie High School, Mr. Ray was named Principal of Northside Elementary where he held the position until his retirement from WISD in 1999. During this time, Mr. Ray was taking classes and training to become an Ellis County Constable. In 2000, he was elected and sworn in as Ellis County Constable of Precinct 3 where he held the position until his health began to deteriorate in June of 2016. Coach Ray enjoyed outside activities such as fishing, hunting and would often be seen at Waxahachie Football games as well as state sporting events. Mr. Ray once quoted in a Waxahachie Daily Light article, “It’s been a pleasure to be a part of the community here, even though I was brought up in Tyler, this is home to me. This is where I am comfortable.” He will be greatly missed.
Visitation will take place Friday, July 19th at the Waxahachie Civic Center from 10 am – 12 pm. The funeral service will take place Friday, July 19th at the Waxahachie Civic Center from 12 pm – 1 pm. The burial service will take place in Whitehouse, Tx at the Ray’s Family Memorial Cemetery immediately following the funeral service. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you make a donation in Jimmie’s memory to your favorite charity.
He was preceded in death by his son Christopher “Sherard” Ray of Waxahachie Tx.; his parents Murphy and Luberta Ray of Tyler Tx.; two brothers: James Ray of Tyler Tx. and Joe Ray of Kansas City, Mo.; two sisters: Bobbie Ray Osborne of Aurora, Co. and Katherine Ray Stoglin of Tyler Tx.; one great-granddaughter: Bran’dee Holloway of Dallas, Tx.
He leaves to cherish his memory: Wife of 54 years, Melba Ray of Waxahachie, Tx; two daughters: Kendra Ray of Tyler, Tx and Terry Ray Moseley of Dallas, Tx; one brother: Kenneth (Mary) Ray of Bossier City, LA; one sister-in-law: Eddie Doll (James) Ray of Whitehouse, Tx; one brother-in-law: Garland Osborne [Bobbie Ray Osborne (deceased)]; one grandson: Brandon Holloway of Tyler, Tx; 3 great-grandchildren, 3 great-great-grandchildren and a host of other relatives and friends. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to a charity of choice. Service under the direction of Community Funeral Home 972-937-5380