NORMAN — Raymond W. Hornbuckle, 97, passed away Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013.
A memorial service and celebration of Raymond’s life was hosted yesterday at McFarlin Methodist Church.
Born in western Arkansas on April 7, 1915, Raymond graduated from high school in Heavener, where he was captain of the football team, owned his own shoeshine stand in a local barbershop and occasionally worked the wheat harvest northward. He met his future wife, Ruby Nell Upchurch, in Spanish class, and though it took them two years to start dating, they eventually married on July 10, 1937, at the Upchurch home and went on to enjoy 75 years of marriage.
After high school, Raymond completed a four-year apprenticeship at the Kansas City Southern shops in Pittsburgh, Kan. In 1942, Raymond and Ruby Nell moved to Tulsa, and, in 1943, he enlisted in the Navy Seabees. He served in Virginia and Okinawa until the end of the war. After the war, their daughter, Linda, came along, which Ray and Ruby Nell called “the biggest and happiest event of their lives.”
In Tulsa, they were instrumental in organizing Memorial Drive Methodist Church. Raymond worked at American Airlines for 31 years, retiring in 1977 from the position of inspector. He and Ruby Nell then moved to Grand Lake, where they built a lovely home on a bluff overlooking Horse Creek. Raymond designed and did much of the construction on the house, their boat dock (complete with bedroom), a workshop and a “trolley car” that traveled from the house to the dock below.
They thoroughly enjoyed their retirement years at the lake, fishing, boating, taking dance classes and entertaining friends and their four grandchildren, Robert, Eric, Adam and Patia. During that time, they attended Grove Methodist Church, and Raymond was a member of the Grand Lake Shrine Club “Ski-Katz,” driving a mini-boat in their parades in several states.