November 13, 1933 - April 16, 2011
Ray Ashbrook, 77, passed away Monday, April 18, 2011, at his home in Wichita Falls, TX. Services will be held at 2:00 PM Thursday, April 21, 2011, at University United Methodist Church with Rev. Dean Libby, pastor, officiating, and Rev. Gene Gordon assisting. Burial will be at Crestview Memorial Park under the ion of Lunns Colonial Funeral Home.
A native Wichitan, Joel Ray Ashbrook was born November 15, 1933, to Joel Luther Ashbrook and Lola Rae Rogers Ashbrook on the 160 acre farm and dairy where Memorial Stadium is now located. He was a 1952 graduate of Wichita Falls High School and also graduated from Midwestern State University with a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Education.
Ray served his country in the U. S. Army during the Korean War for two years, with one year spent in Iceland with the 2nd. Battalion Combat Team. He was honorably discharged with the rank of Staff Sergeant in 1955.
Although he has not flown an airplane for many years, he was proud of having his pilots license and at one time owning his own airplane.
From 1962 to 1964, Ray taught five general science classes and one American History class at Reagan Junior High School.
While still teaching, he worked a part time job at Crestview Memorial Park. Solon and Charlie Featherston, then owners of Crestview Memorial Park, offered him a full time job as the General Manager in 1964, he was promoted to Executive VicePresident in 1965, and to President in 1967. He served at Crestview Memorial Park for 39 years. While working at Crestview, he was active in the Texas Cemeteries Association and was a Vice President and Director of that organization.
Ray dedicated much of his life to serving his community. He served on the Board of Directors of the Downtown YMCA for several years and frequently served as chairman of the annual fund drive and as Chairman of the Heritage Endowment Club of the YMCA.
Ray had 47 years of perfect attendance with the Downtown Rotary Club of Wichita Falls, serving as President in 198485, and on the Board of Directors for several years. He was currently the Chair of the Senior Services Committee. He was named a Paul Harris Fellow two times and served as the District Governors Representative to area and Wichita Falls Rotary. He was the Chairman of the organization committee that formed Rotary North Club.
Ray and Nancy have been members of University United Methodist Church for over 52 years, where they were married December 20, 1958. At the church, he has served on the Administrative Board for five threeyear terms, on the StaffParish Relations Committee, Finance Chairman for three two year terms, Stewardship Chair, Chair of the Board of Trustees, Chair of the Administrative Board, and was currently serving on the Finance Committee and as an usher for worship services. He taught the hip Sunday School Class for nearly ten years.
Ray had served on the Board of Directors of the Wichita Falls County Club and as Tennis Committee Chair. He enjoyed playing tennis when he was younger, in both singles and doubles, he won many tennis tournaments at the Wichita Falls Country Club.
At Midwestern State University, Ray served as president of the MSU MClub fund drive four years and worked the drive many years. He also was on the Intercollegiate Athletic Committee that established the womens basketball program at Midwestern. For several years, until the athletics programs changed to NCAA, he and his wife sponsored the womens basketball program and sponsored the MSU Ashbrook Womens Classic Basketball Tournament. They also fed both the mens and womens basketball teams many meals.
He was proud of being a member of the Ten Gallon Club at the American Red Cross, having donated over 80 pints of blood. He also served on the Wichita Falls City Council as Place 4 Councilman for two years, and as Mayor ProTem in 1978.
Ray is survived by his wife of 52 years, Nancy White Ashbrook of Wichita Falls, son Steven Ray Ashbrook of Wichita Falls, daughter Carolyn Elizabeth Schreiber and her husband Bob of Windthorst, and two very special grandchildren, Jonathan Arthur Schreiber and Christine Elizabeth Schreiber sister Gay Schneider and her husband Dr. Charles of Newburgh, Indiana brother Gary Ashbrook and wife Veronica of Alvarado, TX, two uncles Elmer Lee Rogers and wife Donna of Morris, OK, and Jim Rogers and wife Pat of Thonotosassa, FL. Nephews: Brian Schneider and wife Gwynn of Madison, AL, Joel Ashbrook of Coppell, TX, Chris Ashbrook and wife Mari of Burleson, TX, Michael Poirot of Steamboat Springs, CO, and nieces Ruth Ashbrook of Alvarado and Debbie Poirot Hedley of San Diego, CA. Sisterinlaw and brotherinlaw Joy and Bob Poirot.
Pallbearers will be Howard Lott, Ray Lunn, Jim Miles, Ben Shelton, Aubrey Thacker, and Ralph Yancey.
Honorary pallbearers will be members of Downtown Rotary Club and the Crusaders Class from University United Methodist Church.
The family will be at the funeral home Wednesday evening from 6:00 to 7:00 for visitation.
Memorials may be made to University United Methodist Church, 3405 Taft Street, Wichita Falls, TX.