DENISON – Joe Dee Ray, 88-year-old Baptist preacher, passed away Wednesday, March 7, 2012, at his home in Denison.
He was born on March 7, 1924, in Grand Junction, Colorado, the youngest of six children to Henry and Nan Owens Fisher. After his mother’s death when he was six, he was raised by Aunt and Uncle Dee Moffat Ray and Sara Helen Owens Ray. He asked that they adopt him when he was 16 and he became Joe Dee Ray.
He was valedictorian of Stringtown High School, and surrendered to preach when he was 16. He graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University and Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary, earning a master’s degree. He married Jeanne Marie Cooper on June 12, 1949, in Atoka, Okla.
He was a member of the Masonic Lodge in McAlester, Okla., and completed his consistery there. He was also a member of the Rotary, Kiwanis, and Lions clubs.
Pallbearers will be Bryan David Blake, Jeremy David Bergthold, Franklin Brock Wendt, Stephen Christopher Peck, Samuel Keith Wendt, and Russell Hill Wendt. Honorary pallbearers will be Diane Denise Blake and Karen Elizabeth Balek Peek.
Surviving is his wife, Jeanne Ray; daughters, Mary Helen and husband, Dr. Gregory Blake of Knoxville, Tenn., Nan Sue and husband, Steve Wampler of Denison, Peggy Jeanne and husband, Steve Wendt of Sadler, Texas, Dee Ann and husband Rev. Russell Clemons of Denison; nine grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
Churches pastored by Joe Dee Ray include: Albion, Okla., Dickson, Okla., Graham, Okla., Rush Springs, Okla., First Baptist, Antlers, Okla., First Baptist, Wewoka, Okla., First Baptist, Durant, Okla., First Baptist, McAlester, Okla., Olivet Baptist, Oklahoma City, First Baptist, Borger, Texas, retiring from First Baptist, Denison. After his retirement, he began preaching full-time again, ministering at Silo Baptist, Silo, Okla., where he again retired.
He helped to establish Faith Fellowship Baptist Church in Denison and also preached for Voca Baptist Church in Voca, Okla.
Always active in the Southern Baptist Convention, he served as Counselor for the Oklahoma State Baptist Student Union and 1st Vice President of the Oklahoma Southern Baptist Convention. He held more than 100 revivals during his preaching career and during retirement, he often supplied as preacher for many churches as well.
He loved to travel, visiting every state of the United States, and preaching in several of those states. He visited every continent except for Antarctica and Australia and preached on three continents – Europe, South America, and North America.
Services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 10, at Faith Fellowship Baptist Church in Dension. Officiating will be Rev. Russell Clemons, his son-in-law and pastor of the church. Burial will follow at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at the Atoka Cemetery in Atoka, Okla.
The family requests memorials to Living Memorial, Faith Fellowship Baptist Church, 4305 West Crawford St., Denison, Texas 75020. Condolences may be registered to www.johnsonmoorefuneralhome.net .