Ray L. Whitley age 87, long-time resident of Muskogee, OK entered his heavenly home on Saturday, August 15, 2020 singing and praising Jesus.
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Ray was born August 2, 1933, in the Vann Community near the township of Porum, OK. He was the 2nd child born of 3 children to John and Vera Mae Whitley. Ray received a certificate of high school completion from Porum High School. He earned his Associate degree from Connors State College. On March 6, 1954 he married the greatest treasure in his life, Lois M. Ayers in Stigler, OK. Lois and Ray celebrated 63 years of marriage together until God called Lois to her eternal home on March 20, 2017. To this union 4 children were born.
Ray was a proud U.S. Army veteran, serving during the Korean Conflict. He would share his pride in serving his country while at Fort Sill, OK where he and Lois began their family. Ray was the persona of family, hard work and determination with a “never-give-up” spirit. He retired from the State of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Tax Commission after many years of faithful, dedicated and loyal service. He enjoyed retirement to its fullest with Lois by his side. Ray was a member of Southeast Baptist Church where he enjoyed fellowship with all of his church family, always sharing the joy of Jesus with those around him. His favorite pastime was traveling, especially short road trips through Porum and Stigler, reminiscing about the days gone by. Ray had a passion for the Oklahoma Sooners, old cars and the restoration of them, NASCAR, stock cars, and any other racing venue where there was a checkered flag at the end of the race. He found great joy in seeing and spending time with his children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and his great-great grandchildren.
Ray was preceded in death by his loving wife, his parents and sister-in-law Eva Whitley.
Ray’s surviving legacy includes his daughters Gayla Turner (Preston), Fort Gibson; Kathye Watson (Larry), Muskogee; Lynn Hamilton (Don), Fort Gibson; and son Clark Whitley (Sheila), Clarks Hill, IN. Grandchildren Andrea Mann (Joe), Jess Watson (Amanda), Nick Meschberger, Cody Meschberger (Megan), Erik Friend (Tara), Todd Friend (Stacy), Ryan Friend (Kate), Rachel Milne (Trea), Christy Whitley, and Dustin Whitley (Hayley). Great grandchildren, Whitley Watson, Jessica Watson, Jaycee Watson, Katelyn Mann, Carson Mann, Ainsley Mann, Hayden Mann, Billie Meschberger, Dakota Meschberger, Graeson Meschberger, Jonathan Friend, William Friend, Ava Friend, Jaxon Friend, Dax Friend, Alice Friend, Heidi Friend, Ion Friend, Rori Friend, Emory Friend, Addi Milne, Jaxon Milne, Asher Ray Whitley and great-great grandsons Christopher and Camden. Brother J.N. Whitley, of California and sister Maggie Hiseley (Jerry) of Muskogee. Ray is also loving survived by sisters-in-law Janet Lanier (Larry), Sharon Willis, Janice Ayers-Burnes (Kenneth), and Mildred Ayers. Brothers-in-law George Ayers (Dorothy) and Ronnie Ayers (Wanda). Ray leaves behind numerous nieces and nephews, friends and relatives.
Celebration services for Ray will be held Wednesday, August 19, 2020, 10:00 a.m. at Southeast Baptist Church, 2511 East Hancock St., Muskogee, OK. Pastor Mike Murray will be officiating. Burial will be at Greenhill Cemetery in Muskogee, OK. Pallbearers are his grandsons Jess Watson, Nick Meschberger, Cody Meschberger, Erik Friend, Todd Friend, Ryan Friend and Dustin Whitley. Honorary pallbearers include Bob Whitley, Pete Hiseley, Mike Potts, Jeff Potts, Charlie Ayers and Mark Ayers.
“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:” II Timothy 4:7 (KJV)
Funeral service arrangements are under the direction of Lescher Millsap Funeral Home.