On August 12, 2020, our Lord welcomed home one of His truly unique creations, Dennis Edward Ray at 68 years of age. Friends and family are invited to a visitation from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 16, at Slavik Funeral Home in Edna. Memorial services will be held at 10:30 a.m., Monday, Aug 17, at First Baptist Church in Edna. Interment will be at Memory Gardens Cemetery in Edna in a private family service.
Dennis was born in Tomball, Texas on Monday, November 5, 1951, to his parents James Hamilton and Betty Louise Ray. He spent most of his childhood in Edna, Texas where he graduated from High School in 1970 after brief stints in Beeville and Premont, Texas. While in high school, Dennis was an avid baseball player which translated into a love of the sport for his entire life. From coaching Little League teams to the state tournament, umpiring countless youth baseball games, to coaching girls' softball and cheering on the Astros, he was always ready to challenge a call or point out a rules violation.
In 1982, after working for Mobile Pipeline for 10 years, he retired to become the owner and operator of Dennis Ray Repair, which he maintained with the addition of U-Haul rentals for the remainder of his life.
In his younger years, Dennis was quite active and enjoyed various sports. In his 20's he raced Motocross bikes, played competitive softball, and learned to play golf. He loved to play golf with friends at Edna Country Club and looked forward to the annual 4th of July Tournament in Uvalde. He continued to play golf as long as his health would allow. Even after he was no longer playing himself, he enjoyed watching tournaments and encouraging all of his grandchildren to pick up the game - of which they all did!
Hunting was also a sport Dennis greatly enjoyed. So much so that he became a hunting guide and later an outfitter with R&R Ranches for 27 years, a partnership with Kenneth Rasmussen, one of his life-long friends. Dennis took great pleasure in helping others experience unique antelope and mule deer hunts in New Mexico, but nothing was better than hunting with his son or watching his grandsons' get their first big rack.
Dennis was an advocate for many causes in his community. He was a charitable man, giving of time and money year after year to those less fortunate. His active involvement in several organizations will be sorely missed. As a member of the Edna Lion's Club since 1984, he notably served as the local president three times, life member of Lion's Camp and Director of Lion's Camp for two years, and was honored as Lion of the Year, twice. He was recognized twice at the state level with the Jack Welch Fellowship award and also received the Melvin Jones Fellowship award for his international contributions to the greater Lion's Club Organization. As a Go Texan member for over 30 years, he also served as a Go Texan Ambassador, Assistant District Chairman, District Chairman, Go Texan Vice-Chair, and Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo Life Member. For years, Dennis has also served as Chairman of the Board of the Edna Housing Authority and helped start the annual Christmas gift drive for the younger residents.
Anyone in the Edna community that has purchased a fundraiser dinner plate has surely been fed by Dennis. He had a passion for feeding others and was an excellent cook. He helped create and plan many events in the community and could always be found near the pit. Some of his favorite events included Lion's Club events such as Dinner on Main, fish fry's, selling turkey and ham for Thanksgiving dinners, as well as Go Texan events such as Chili Spill, BBQ cook-offs and golf tournaments.
Dennis met the love of his life Sandra Kay Sloan, while in high school. In 1971, they were married at First Baptist Church in Edna, and for 49 faithful years remained married and devoted to one another. Their marriage was a true example of love, dedication, and constant laughter and entertainment. They had three children, son Matt, and daughters Robbin and Susan. It is hard to imagine a more fun-loving and proud husband, father and grandfather. Dennis cared deeply for his family and was very proud when it came to his kids and grandkids.
Dennis was preceded in death by his parents James Hamilton and Betty Louise Ray. He is survived by his wife Sandra; son Dennis Matthew "Matt" Ray of Lago Vista, married to Letitia; daughter Robbin Ray Graham of Salado, married to Chris; daughter Susan Ray Robles of Grey Forrest, married to Sammy. He is also survived by grandchildren, Ryan, Kyle, Trey, Caden, Mason and Reed, and his brothers Jim, Mike and Terry Ray.
Pallbearers include life-long friends Mike Myers, Kenneth Rasmussen, Terry Teer, Kenneth Land, Rodney Fowler, sons-in-law Chris Graham and Sammy Robles, and grandsons Ryan and Kyle Ray.
The family suggests that memorial donations be made to one of the following organizations: Texas Lion's Camp at email@example.com; Jackson County Area Go Texan Scholarships (P.O.Box 743, Edna, TX 77957); First Baptist Church, Edna (P.O.Box 417 Edna, TX 77957); or to a charity of your choice.
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