The Norman Transcript

January 17, 2013

Raymond W. Hornbuckle


The Norman Transcript

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.

In 1994, Raymond and Ruby Nell moved to Norman to be near their family — and to be near the Oklahoma Sooner football team, which Raymond and Ruby Nell avidly followed for more than 50 years, often driving to Norman for games from the Bud Wilkinson era onward. In Norman, Raymond enjoyed the yearly tradition of decorating their home on Tarman Circle with Christmas lights and developed his skills as a wood carver. He especially loved to carve dinosaurs, 26 of which are on display at the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History.

Raymond and Ruby Nell belong to McFarlin Methodist Church, and Raymond was a longtime member of the Petroleum Masonic Lodge, the Scottish Rite Consistory and the Akdar Shrine.

Raymond and Ruby Nell have said that this large and loving family is proof of “living life to the fullest.”

Raymond is survived by his wife, Ruby Nell; daughter, Linda and her husband, Matt; grandson, Robert and his partner Dawn; grandson, Eric and his partner Monica; grandson, Adam and his wife Amber; granddaughter, Patia and her partner Robby; two stepgrandchildren, Hannah and Thade; three great-grandchildren, Andrew, Izzy and Zea; and several nieces, nephews and extended family members.

Norman Transcript, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013

For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.