location Myrtle Point Myrtle Grove Myrtle Crest Bandon

Vernon Gene Ray

Born: Tue., Apr. 16, 1940
Died: Mon., Feb. 25, 2019


No services to be held


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At his request there will be no services for Vernon Gene Ray, age 78, of Myrtle Point. Gene was born April 16, 1940 in Salem, Oregon. He died on February 25, 2019 in assisted living in Coos Bay.

Gene was raised by his parents Mona and Sanford Ray in Myrtle Point where he attended school. Gene joined the United States Air Force in 1957 and after basic training was stationed in Washington where he met and, in 1959, married Betty Colleen Overturf. Gene and Betty travelled extensively due to Gene’s military service. They were stationed in Washington State, the Azores Portugal (twice), Wichita Falls Texas, Denver Colorado, and in Tampa Florida where, in 1977, Gene retired from the U.S. Air Force. Upon his retirement, the family moved to Myrtle Point and Gene went to work for Coos Forest Protective Association. Gene retired from Coos Forest Protective Association in 1992.

Gene was talented at any task he undertook. While in the military he earned the highest honor of a Distinguished Rifleman during his time with the Air Force Rifle Team, competing throughout the world. In his personal life he enjoyed spending time with friends, playing cards, wood working, making jewelry, driving fast cars, and was a serious rock hound. Gene loved fishing and hunting and he had many stories from different parts of world where he had enjoyed these sports.

Gene was preceded in death by his wife Betty, parents Mona and Sanford Ray; and brothers, Ronald Ray and Gerald Johnson.

Gene is survived by his sister, Jeannette Jan Skelton; his sons and their spouses, David and Susan Ray of Hull, MA, Ricky and Donda Ray of Coquille, and Jody and Dominique Ray of Coquille; grandchildren, Ashley, Nicole, Crystal, Trisha, Zachary and Mariah. He also leaves numerous nieces and nephews and very special friends.

Memorial donations may be made to South Coast Hospice, 1620 Thompson Road, Coos Bay, Oregon, 97420.   

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Sid and Debby Hilverda
   Posted Mon March 11, 2019
Some of our fond memories of Gene were:
His ability to tell jokes that would always make us laugh.
He would drive by, on his way to town, to check out our garden.
He made beautiful jewelry.
These are just a few of the many good things we will remember about
Gene. He was a great guy who loved people and will be missed.
Our condolences to the family.

David Harlan
   Posted Sun May 12, 2019
I had the privilege of working and playing with Gene in the Azores (1972-75). We sat side-by-side in the office and were lunchtime double-deck Pinochle partners for three years. We snorkeled and spearfished with others, and he twice convinced me to try deep-sea fishing (which resulted in severe seasickness). We also bonded over cars because we both drove beefy Ford Galaxy 500's at one time or another. Plus, Gene hosted numerous lively, even raucous parties at his island house, where I first met Betty and their children.

Memories of Gene remained fond and strong during the four decades we were apart, and will stay that way as long as I walk the earth or swim its seas. Rest well, my friend.

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