Wayne Ray went to meet his Lord and Savior on February 13th, 2023, surrounded by his loving family, his greatest treasure on earth.
Wayne was born May 1, 1941, in North Carolina to Hassel and Minnie (Woody) Ray. Hassel, Minnie and their four children, Wilma, Leroy, Wayne, and Geneva, moved to Beaver, WA where his dad was working for Rayonier Timber Company when Wayne was 5 years old. Their family grew with the addition of Glen and Shelly.
He attended Beaver Grade School where he met Barbara Hull in second grade. He was a grade ahead of her and every year he told her he liked her. In 4th grade she finally said, “OK, I like you, too.” He then refused to do his schoolwork so he would be held back and be in Barbara’s class.
Wayne was a gifted basketball player and helped take his Forks High School team to State as team captain, continuing to play on the men’s basketball team for several years in the church league. During his senior year in high school, he worked a night shift and was purchasing his first house. He and Barb were married December 3, 1960. He soon went to work for Ed Beebe Trucking and learned to drive gravel truck. He later began to drive log truck and earned the moniker of Smiley. Wayne and Barb had three children, Janice, Beth and Paul.
Wayne was a member of the Forks Assembly of God for many years, taught Sunday School and drove the Sunday School bus for a time. He sang at many weddings and funerals and led the worship music during services. He retired in 2006 after 45 years of driving log truck due to health issues.
Wayne was a humble man, never comfortable with being the center of attention. However, he was warm and welcoming, opening his home to many. He loved the Lord and his church. He spent many hours fishing, cutting firewood and working outside on his property. He enjoyed history, and he and Barb went to many garage sales where they shared the Lord with many people.
Wayne’s life was filled with family and he cherished the time spent with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He always said, “You can have all the money in the world, but your family is your greatest wealth.”
Wayne is survived by his wife Barbara; children Janice (Mike) Church, Beth (Randy) Church and Paul (Ana) Ray; grandchildren Kim (Vern) Rondeau, Christina (Raymond) Buchmann, Leanna (Tyler) Day, Whitney (Rex) Shaw; and great-grandchildren Brooklynn, Hailey and Kendon Rondeau; Brian and Blake Buchmann, Brett and Makayla Day and Frith Shaw. He was preceded in death by grandson Kenneth Church and his sister Wilma (Ray) Engeseth.
Services will be held on March 4, 2023, 11 a.m. at the Forks Assembly of God.