NORMAN — Clifford Ray Sr., 88, of Norman, left this earth to be with his Heavenly Father on Sunday, May 5, 2013. Clifford was born Dec. 22, 1924, in Union, S.C.
Services will be 10 a.m. Friday at Everlasting Life Baptist Church, 925 E. Brooks St. in Norman, with interment following at IOOF Cemetery in Norman.
He joined the military in 1943, proudly serving his country in the Navy during World War II.
After his military career, Clifford attended North Carolina A & T State University until he later married and started a familye.
He worked as a brick mason until joining the police force in the mid 1960s, becoming one of the first African American officers in Union, S.C. In 1974, he moved to Norman, where he worked at Tinker Air Force Base as an airplane parts inspector and retired in 1983.
He was an active member with the Masons in South Carolina and a lifetime member of the Veteran of Foreign Wars Post 4876 in Altus.
In his younger years, Clifford was an all-around athlete who was active in several high school sports, including boxing, football and basketball.
He loved music and was a former member of the University of Oklahoma’s New Horizons Band, in which he played the coronet.
Clifford enjoyed fishing, working in his garden and cooking.
Clifford was a devout Christian who always put the Lord first in his life and made going to church a requirement for his family.
He is a member of Everlasting Life Baptist Church, where he served as a deacon and enjoyed teaching Sunday school classes.
He was a former member of the Clinton Chapel Church in Union, S.C., where he also served as a deacon.
Clifford was preceded in death by his mother, Fannie Ray; his first wife, Josephine Ray and two sisters, Cornelius Ray Peak and Cathleen Ray.
He is survived by his wife, Waleanor Ray; children Kilpatrick Ray and wife Susan of San Antonio, Clifford Ray Jr. of Altamonte Springs, Fla., Sandra Cooper of Fayetteville, N.C., Linda Owens of Anchorage, Alaska, Teresa Turner and husband Richard of Norman and Bernice Ray of Norman; stepchildren Alma Thompson and husband Norris of Greensboro, N.C. and Christopher Boyd of Greensboro, N.C.; 11 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; nephew, Robert Charles Ray as well as many other nieces, nephews, family members and friends.
Visitation will be 3 to 8 p.m. Wednesday and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday with the family greeting friends that evening from 5 to 7.
Arrangements for Clifford and his family were placed in the care of the Vice family at Havenbrook Funeral Home Norman.
Mourners may share their online condolences at havenbrookfuneralhome.com.