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Wilmer Leon Ray

May 12, 1941 ~ July 24, 2019 (age 78)

Wilmer Leon Ray was born on May 12, 1941 in Coolidge, Texas In Limestone County to Bertha and William Ray. 

Visitation will be held on Thursday, August 1, 2019 from 9:00am – 9:00 pm, The Ray family will receive friends from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm on Thursday August 1, 2019 at Martinez Funeral Home And Chapel

Celebration of Life will be held on Friday August 2, 2019 at 10:00am at First United Methodist Church at 415 N. Lee Ave in Odessa, Texas

Interment will follow at Sunset Memorial Gardens, Last Supper Section

The family moved to Odessa, Texas when he was a young boy.  Here he and his siblings worked as young boys all the while attending school.  His parents believed in hard work and education.  Wilmer was a good student and a star athlete.  In High school at Blackshear high he was an honor roll student and all district all state in football. He was also named to the Blackshear Steers Hall of fame, graduating in 1959.  At Blackshear high school he met Mildred Sue Hunter.  He and Sue married in Fort Worth Texas on July 17, 1961.  To this union they had six children.  Wilmer begin working for the Boys club of America.  Sue worked alongside him.  Mr. Ray would eventually become director of the Woodson Unit on Murphy Ave.  At the Boys club he impacted many young men’s lives and saved countless young men from hard times. Many of these young men will still say to this day that Wilmer Ray helped them become the men they are.   Wilmer is the founder of the 3 Tier Learning Center. He originated the program traveling to the State Capital to propose a program for students who had dropped out of school and other

at-risk youth. Today we know this as the alternative center.  He ran the center and made sure the young men received an education.   Time passed and he got a job at Amoco Oil and gas plant.  A family man to the heart he picked up a part time job while working at Amoco.   Wilmer went to work at Pinkies liquor store. He would grow to have a special relationship with Pinkie Roden and the Roden family.   He learned so many facts about spirits and wine, he used this knowledge to start his own bartending company.  He did events and parties all over Odessa and Midland.   The Ray family would find a church home at Mackey Chapel United Methodist Church.  They have been members of Mackey Chapel for over 50 years.  Mr. Ray’s faith was the centerpiece of his life.  When he was able, he was very active in the church.  He became a trustee and helped wherever he was needed, no task was too small.

Wilmer worked diligently for Amoco Oil and gas plant eventually retiring as maintenance Coordinator after 22 years.   A few years after he retired, he decided to continue his service in Ector County and run for County Commissioner of Precinct 4.  Already well know and admired he didn’t take it for granted he would win.  He walked and knocked on doors in all the neighborhoods of precinct four and asked people personally for their vote. He won and served a one 4-year term, accomplishing many things for Odessa and the community.  Wilmer Ray over his lifetime served the community in many other ways, always trying to improve it.  Recently he served on the Odessa planning and zoning board for 10 years. He only retired due to his health worsening.   He was a founding member of the Ector County lions club and first minority member of the Odessa Jaycees.  He has been honored several times by many clubs and organizations.  Below is a list of just a few of his awards, The Zeus award, the liberty bell award 1971, The Greatest Gift Award- Optimist Club and Living Legend civics award - Black chamber of commerce.  Wilmer Leon Ray lived a full and service filled life; he loved his family, friends and community fiercely.   He always tried to reach out and help where he saw a need and improve the lives of others. He loved to cook and go fishing. His Barbeque is some of the best around. He was a fan of drag racing and Rodeo. He loved talking to friends and family and telling stories.  

He is preceded in Death by parents William and Bertha Ray, a son Lance Trevor Ray one granddaughter Sheena Ray and one brother Bishop Robert Earl Ray.

He is survived by his wife Sue Ray and their five children Bill (Annette) Ray, Leslie (David) Walker, Derenda (Cassius) Phillips, Bruce Ray (Carlolyn) and Wilma Gail Ray.  10 grandchildren and 12 great- grandchildren.  Brothers George (June) Ray, and Billy (Rev. Pat BCC)  Ray, and Sisters Evangelist Nell (Sammy) Lewis and Carlolyn Ray and , many more friends and extended family. 

 

The Family would like to thank all the friends who have visited comforted and have been bringing gifts by we appreciate and feel the love and prayers.

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