Herman Ray Thompson was born on Oct. 20, 1942, on Beaver Mountain in Stigler. He died on Beaver Mountain on Tuesday, May 29, 2018, at the age of 75.
Ray was preceded in death by his parents, Elmer Irving Leroy Thompson and Esther Oleta Calhoun Thompson of Henryetta. Ray is survived by his son, Phillip Ray Thompson and wife, Cyndi, of Eufaula; daughter, Ann Marie Chapman and husband, Justin, of Lucas, Texas; five grandchildren; one great-grandchild; three sisters, Wanda Blackwell of Morris, Kathy Yarborough of Henryetta, and Joe Ellen Rich of Henryetta; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Ray attended Hitchita High School, where he excelled in math and basketball, graduating in 1960. He went to Connors State College and finished his degree at Northeastern State University, working hard to earn a math degree in 1964 and then soon after, starting his professional career as a teacher.
Ray answered the call of his country and served in the Army and spent a year at war in Vietnam from 1967 to 1968. After returning from Vietnam, country living and entrepreneurialism were calling Ray, so Ray and Mary moved back to Haskell County in 1968. Ray was a serial entrepreneur who provided for his family, with Mary, buying and building up Whitefield Grocery & Feed, farming, raising cattle, investing in natural gas wells and operating houses for rent, all while raising two kids. Ray invested time in his children; teaching his son to hunt and fish, teaching his kids how to ride horses and take care of their many dogs, teaching his kids (and later, the older grandkids) how to drive and attending countless football and basketball games to support his children and later his grandchildren. Ray and Mary worked hard to be able to invest in their children’s futures, paying for Phillip and Ann to attend college, earning their own degrees, which allowed them to start their adult lives supporting themselves and later supporting their own families.
A family funeral service was held at Palestine Cemetery in Quinton on June 5, 2018.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Sacred Selections at www.sacredselections.org.