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Robert "Mike" Michael Ray
July 12, 1946 ~ August 3, 2023 (age 77) 77 Years Old
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Robert Michael “Mike” Ray, 77, of Barnsdall, passed peacefully from this life August 3, 2023. Born July 12, 1946 to Alton Clemmons (AC) Ray and Eva Maxine (Frye) Ray, he lived in Pawhuska until graduating in 1964 and leaving for college. Double majoring in Physics and mathematics, he graduated in 1968 from Central State College, becoming the second in his family to graduate college after his brother David. Mike received his draft notice the week before his senior finals, so immediately after graduating, he embarked on what he described as a “walking tour of SE Asia.” He served with honor as part of the 101st Airborne, 2nd Battalion, 506th infantry.
He returned home to begin working at the US Bureau of Mines as a research physicist. Heading back to town one day from visiting a friend, he met a lovely young lady at the cattle guard, and that chance meeting would result in a marriage that lasted 52 years, from June 26, 1971 until he passed.
Mike became a father in 1973, and again in 1978. He took his job as a parent seriously, spending hours teaching his girls to golf, fish, build and fix things, and imparted his philosophy of hard work and service. He spent many weekends over the years driving to Strolling Strings performances where he could be seen standing with Susan supporting the kids.
Retiring as the Deputy Director of the Department of Energy site locally, he devoted his time to woodworking, making/repairing violins, working around his property and spending time with family.
While a wonderfully involved parent, Mike really took to the job of being a grandpa. He absolutely adored his grandchildren, and enjoyed spending as much time with them as possible. He even let them eat in the car, which his children still cannot believe.
Mike will be remembered for a great many things, but most of all for his great love of family and friends and quick smile. He loved to play golf, go fly fishing and camping. He was active in the American Legion, proudly serving as commander.
He is preceded in death by his parents, A.C. and Eva Ray, and his half-sisters Emily Leavell and Sharon Sue Chastain.
Mike is survived by his wife Susan, daughters and sons-in-law Deborah and Travis Miller, and Amanda and Stuart Ryder, and his beloved grandchildren Michael Ford Ryder, Liam Michael Miller, and Savannah Grace Ryder. He also leaves behind a brother, David Alton Ray, Sister-in-law Frances Ray, and nephews Jason Ray and Evan Ray and their families. His sisters and brothers-in-law Shelley Enyart Farquharson and Marty Farquharson, Sie Edward Enyart Jr. and Deborah Johnson, and Nieces Morgan (Farquharson) Dyer and Kelly (Enyart) Stacy
His “favorite blonde” Spirit the dog will miss their frequent truck rides to town, but she’ll keep a good watch on Susan for him.
The service will be held Saturday August 12, 2023 at 2:00 PM at the Kendrick-McCartney Funeral Home in Pawhuska. Following Internment at the Pawhuska Cemetery with military honors provided by Legion Post 227, a celebration of life will be held at the Dave Landrum Community Center in Pawhuska.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the American Legion Post 227, Barnsdall, OK are welcomed, as well as donations of blood to the Red Cross or OBI, as those generous gifts allowed him more time with his family.