James William "Bill" Ray, 84, of Bethesda, Ohio, passed away peacefully on Sunday, October 20, 2019 in Cartersville, Georgia. Bill was born at home in Lloydsville, Ohio on August 5, 1935 to James Bedillion Ray and Thelma Luella Lynn Ray.
Bill graduated from Bethesda High School, Class of 1953. He then moved to Columbus where he worked several jobs before he volunteered for the draft, and was an Army Veteran, serving stateside, Japan, and Korea following the Korean War Conflict from August of 1954 until July of 1956. After an honorable discharge, Bill returned to his work at Seagrave Corporation, then on to Ray Data, Reliance Electric, Bell Sound, Blacklick Machines, and co-owned a pizza business. He was a broker and vice president of Superior Plating Company from 1971 to 1972. Bill then moved his family back to Bethesda where he ran heavy equipment for surface mining for George Krulock. He worked for Eastern Ohio Coal Company, Loase Coal Company, and Ferro Alloys Corporation. Bill began as an electrician for Blaney Lumber Company in 1978 until he began his most beloved job, his own business, Ray's Electric in 1982 with his wife, Carol. They were in business for over two decades in the town of Bethesda, where he was a well loved and respected member of the community. Bill never met a stranger and loved life and people. He loved to travel, had a passion for reading, was a story teller and was a knowledgeable historian of Belmont County. He volunteered in his community and held several offices for the Bethesda Alumni Association including President this past year. He loved to sing and was a talented musician who could play any instrument by ear and enjoyed entertaining others. Bill loved all animals, especially his kitties. He will be truly missed by all who knew and loved him.
Bill is preceded in death by his father, James Bedillion Ray, daughter, Lisa Ellen Ray Ebeling, brothers-in-law, William Loase and Robert Murphy .
He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Gwendolyn Carol Boyd Ray, son, Keith Ray, of Bethesda, Ohio, daughter, Marsha (Tony) Massing of Cartersville, Georgia, mother, Thelma Luella Lynn Ray, of Bethesda, Ohio, son-in-law, Mike Ebeling, of Somerton, Ohio, grandchildren: Dustin Ray, of Bethesda, Ohio, Brittany (Tim) Johnson, of Sherrills Ford, North Carolina, John (Micahlene) Williams of Belmont. Ohio, Peter (Katherine) Williams, of Acworth, Georgia, Paul Ebeling of Somerton, Ohio, Lauren Ebeling of Triadelphia, West Virginia, Todd Williams, of Cartersville, Georgia, Liesl and Denny Ray of Bethesda, Ohio, Katie and Keaton Massing of Charlotte, North Carolina, and great grandson, Evan James Williams of Belmont, Ohio, sisters; Martha Loase of Bethesda, Ohio , and Doris Murphy of Sandyville, Ohio, and former daughter-in-law, Monica Ray of Adena, Ohio, former son-in-law, Lieutenant Colonel (R) Kevin Williams of Flushing, Ohio, and honorary daughters Lorna Leek, of Barnesville, Ohio and Denise Gray of Bethesda, Ohio. Several nieces, nephews, cousins, and many dear friends also survive to cherish Bill's memory.
A Funeral Service will be conducted in the chapel of Campbell Plumly Milburn Funeral Home in Barnesville, Ohio on Saturday, October 26, 2019 at 1pm with Pastor Josh Dillon officiating.
The family will receive friends Friday, October 25, 2019 from 4-8 pm at the funeral home and for an hour prior to the Funeral Service on Saturday, October 26, 2019. Interment will follow the service at Belmont Cemetery in Belmont, Ohio with military honors rendered.
A reception will be held at the Bethesda Community Center, Bethesda, Ohio immediately following the services.
Memorial contributions may be made to Bethesda Alumni Association c/o Chuck Simeral, Treasurer, 59970 West Wind Lane, Senecaville, Ohio, 43780.
To send flowers to James' family, please visit our floral section.