Interment will be at the Crown Hill Cemetery in Powell at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 7.
James Wallace Ray was born on April 24, 1930, to Herman Bruce and Blanch Rachel (Kolb) Ray in St. Clair County, Ill. He grew up in Ferguson, Mo., and graduated from high school in 1949.
He was very involved in their sports programs and lettered in every sport offered. He excelled at track and field as a runner and javelin thrower and also participated in wrestling, basketball, football and baseball. He started weightlifting at home to get ready for football. Even though he was very involved in high school he still found time to participate in swimming and boxing at the local Y.M.C.A. and competed in the Golden Gloves completion.
He joined the United States Navy in January 1951. He served four years and was sent overseas during the Korean War, serving on the USS Badoeng Strait CVE-116. He was honorably discharged on Nov. 29, 1954, in San Diego.
After being discharged, he worked for Emerson Electric and Ford Motor Co. in Missouri before starting his career with Mountain State Bell in Wyoming as a lineman. He started working in Powell, then in Worland, back to Powell, then to Cheyenne. He eventually moved to Riverton in 1974. He acquired his senior right-of-way agent certification through Qwest 10 years before retiring in February 1990.
He married his wife of 58 years, Mary Lou Kittle, on Oct. 16, 1954, in San Diego at the North Island Chapel. Together they had three children: Athena Lynn Ray, Wallace “Wally” Ray, and Martin “Marty” Ray.
Jim was involved with I.O.O.F. Lodge, the Rebekahs and the Eagles Lodge in Powell. He was a life member of VFW Post #3628, American Legion Post #19, Fremont County Voiture Post #1437- 40-8, and D.A.V. Weldon D Moss Chapter #8 in Riverton, serving as post commander in each. He was a member of the Korean War Veterans Association in Rolla, Mo. He volunteered as D.A.V. van driver for the past 15 years, and was appointed by the governor to serve on the Wyoming Veteran Commission. He was very instrumental, along with Bill Willman, in getting the Veteran Park in Riverton.
His family said that Jim had a great sense of humor, enjoyed golfing, and above all, loved taking care of veterans and others. He was honored by the Masons as Volunteer of the Year.
He was preceded in death by his parents; grandparents; sister-in-law Margaret Ray; brother-in-law Marion E. Kittle; and three nephews, Chris Ray, Larry Ray and Scott Allan Ray.
Jim is survived by his wife, Mary Lou of the family home; daughter Athena Lynn Ray of Lander; sons Wallace “Wally” (Connie) Ray of Gardendale, Ala., and Martin “Marty” (Cheryl) Ray of Grand Blanc, Mich.; nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his brothers William “Bill” (Elsie) Ray of Rolla, Mo., Donald “Don” (Dianne) Ray of Joplin, Mo., Harold Ray of Fenton, Mo., and Ronald “Ron” (Betty) Ray of Bensalem, Pa.; sister-in-law L. Irene Helms of La Mesa, Calif.; brother-in-laws Albert “Leroy” Kittle of Killeen, Texas, and L. Howard (Kim) Kittle of Eugene, Ore.; and several nieces and nephews.
Memorials may be made to the Fremont War Memorial originated by Trindad Herrera, the Help for Health Hospice Home, or the United Presbyterian Church in care of Davis Funeral Home, 2203 West Main, Riverton, WY, 82501.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Davis Funeral Home.
Online condolences for the family may be made at www.TheDavisFuneralHome.com.