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Willis Jackson Ray
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Birth: Dec. 26, 1853
Warren County
Illinois, USA
Death: Oct. 5, 1940, USA

Obituary: Willis Jackson Ray,
1853 - 1940

Willis Jackson Ray was born December 26, 1853, on a farm near Berwick County, Illinois, the son of Greenbury B. Ray and Mary A. Moore Ray. He died at the home of Mrs. Mabel Ray, 415 South Elizabeth, Wichita, Kansas, at 10:55 A.M. Saturday, October 5, 1940, aged 86 years, nine months and five days.

Born and reared on a farm he chose farming and livestock raising as his vocation through life, beginning with his father on their Illinois farm. On September 20, 1877, he was united in marriage to Miss Louisa Catherine LaMunyon of Taylor county, Iowa, and they took up their first residence on the Ray homestead in Illinois in the house where he had been born 24 years before. To this union two sons were born Walter C. and Chester. Chester died March 5, 1881 at the age of three months and 10 days. Louisa died November 28, 1880.

June 30, 1881, he was united in marriage to Miss Marguerite Alverna Emery
at Clearfield, Iowa. To this union seven sons and three daughters were born. Gracie died at the age of three years and their oldest son, Estel at the age of 47, Alverna passed away at their ranch home near Wilmore February 1, 1913.

On May 2, 1914 he was married to Miss Lydia Rowena Griggs of Kansas City. She passed away at their home in Wilmore, February 26, 1931.

The deceased is survived by two daughters, Mary E. Wilmore, National City, California, and Emma M Eaton of Garden City, Kansas, seven sons, Walter C. of Ashland, Kansas; Charles G. of 1218 North Market, Wichita, Kansas; Emery R. 140 North Rutan, Wichita, Kansas; Willis J. 727 Topeka Blvd., San Antonio, Texas; Paul G. Lufkin, Texas; Silas Ray 1005 East Broadway, Enid, Okla.; and Arthur of Wilmore, Kansas; and Estel's widow, Mrs. Mabel Ray of 415 Elizabeth, Wichita, Kans.; 35 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren, and a host of neighbors and friends who will ever cherish him in loving memory.

He was an ideal Christian father who truly brought up his children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, a neighbor ever willing to be helpful to others, and a citizen who was always ready to carry his share of the community's responsibilities and burdens.

Willis Ray was one of those indomitable spirits who moved westward with the tide of emigration. He left his farm in Illinois in the early eighties and moved to Taylor County, Iowa, where he bought a farm and resided until the fall of 1884 when he ventured farther west and bought land in Pawnee County, Nebraska, where he continued to farm and produce livestock until 1894 when he sold his Nebraska holdings and moved south to Linn County, Kansas, where he bought a finely improved farm near LaCygne. After eleven years of successful operation there. In 1906 he again moved west - this time settling in Comanche County, Kansas where he bought what was known as the Davis Ranch located about four miles northwest of Wilmore. Here he and his family resided until 1914, when he retired from active ranching and moved to Wilmore, where he made his home until about six years ago. Since then he has made his home with his children and grandchildren in Pratt, Hutchinson and Wichita.

Father Ray was a leader among his people wherever he went, both in material and spiritual matters. His religious life was a real and vital force to him. At an early age he was converted and identified himself with the Missionary Baptist Church. He had been an active deacon, in that denomination for over sixty years. For over forty years, almost without interruption he was a Sunday School Superintendent. It seemed a part of his mission in life to have an active part in establishing Baptist churches. In Taylor County, Iowa he was one of the group that established the Clearfield Baptist Church. When he moved to the Nebraska prairies there was no church nearby, so he joined with others in establishing a church at Lewiston, Nebr. That being out of his immediate neighborhood, as the country settled up, he felt the need and organized a Sunday School house in the district in which he resided. This Sunday School grew into the Tate Baptist Church which developed into one of the important rural churches of Nebraska and a fine country church building was built on a hill less than a mile from his farm home. Moving to LaCygne another congregation was gathered and another Baptist Church building was erected.

Many in the congregation who have gathered here in Wilmore today to pay their last respects, know of his part in the organization of the Wilmore Baptist Church in 1906, and its development in the years that followed and how many have been brought into the Kingdom and trained for Christian service. For many years he was a member of the executive board of the Kansas Baptist State Convention. It was very seldom that he became too busy with the material things of life not to answer and attend promptly to the calls of his Master for service.

He was a member of the A. F. & A. M. Lodge of Wilmore, and had been a member of the Modern Woodman.

Family links: 
  Greenberry Ray (1824 - 1879)
  Mary Ann Moore Ray (1829 - 1871)
  Louisa Catherine LaMunyon Ray (1860 - 1880)*
  Marguerite Alverna Emery Ray (1862 - 1913)*
  Estel Oliver Ray (1882 - 1929)*
  Gracie W Ray (1884 - 1888)*
  Charles Greenberry Ray (1887 - 1964)*
  Richard Emery Ray (1890 - 1980)*
  Arthur Jesse Ray (1892 - 1971)*
  Emma Melinda Ray Eaton (1893 - 1977)*
  Willis Jackson Ray (1896 - 1992)*
  Willis Jackson Ray (1853 - 1940)
  Mary Emily Ray Clague (1857 - 1939)**
  Edith Magdalene Jones Underwood (1885 - 1924)*
*Calculated relationship
Crown Hill Cemetery
Comanche County
Kansas, USA
Created by: Mary
Record added: Jul 29, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 28611631
Willis Jackson Ray
Added by: Mary
Willis Jackson Ray
Added by: Mary
Willis Jackson Ray
Added by: Mary
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Rest in Peace
- Larry & Helen in Ok.
 Added: Feb. 12, 2016

- Mary
 Added: Jul. 29, 2008

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