The Norman Transcript


March 9, 2014

Ray Idleman

NORMAN — Ray Idleman, 89, of Lexington, passed away Friday, March 7, 2014, in Noble. Ray was born Oct. 10, 1924, on a farm southwest of Purcell, near the Bryant community. He was the eighth child of 11 children born to Lester Ray Idleman and Carrie Mae (Hawkins) Idleman.

Ray grew up a farm boy and learned how to work hard picking cotton and cutting broomcorn. In his early years of school he attended the Bryant school, later he attended Wayne schools before finishing high school at Washington, graduating with the class of 1943.

Ray married Erma Phillips on Feb. 26, 1944, in Purcell. They later started a family, raising four children, Orbin, Jimmy, Shirley and Sam. Ray and Erma first lived southwest of Woody Chapel where Ray worked as a farmer. Several years later he got a job working for the Oklahoma State Highway Department. Then in 1950, Ray began a career as a machinist working at Tinker Air Force Base in Midwest City. He worked there a total of 33 years before retiring as supervisor.

In 1951, Ray moved his family near Slaughterville and has remained living there for the past 63 years. He loved living in the country and was an avid gardener. After retiring he spent much time doing woodworking and traveling.

After Erma passed away in 2003, Ray remarried, a year later, Mary Smith Wiltshire. They were married on Feb. 12, 2004. Ray and Mary also enjoyed traveling and spending time with their children and grandchildren.

Ray was a faithful Christian and was a member of the Noble First Baptist Church for nearly 60 years, and served for many years as a deacon.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Les and Mae Idleman; his first wife, Erma on May 13, 2003; three sistersMattie Belle Mullins, Marie Crabtree and Lena Vaughn; four brothers, Albert, Frank, Rudy and Loyd Idleman; and one great-grandson, Aaron Potts.

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