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Obituary for Billy Gene Bray

Funeral service for Billy Bray, 88, of Tishomingo, Oklahoma, will be at 10:00 a.m. Friday, September 9, 2017, at the Elgin Funeral Home Chapel with Pastor Tom Trautman, officiating. Burial will be at 2:00 p.m. at the Mill Creek Cemetery under the direction of the Elgin Funeral Home. Visitation will be held Thursday from 2:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at the Elgin Funeral Home.

Mr. Bray passed away on Tuesday, September 5, 2017 in Marlow, Oklahoma at the age of 88.

Billy Gene Bray was born in Mill Creek, OK, on January 18, 1929, to Jim and Ethel Bray. He attended Mill Creek Public School, graduating from there, and went on to attend college at Murray State College in Tishomingo. In 1949, he married the love of his life and high school sweetheart, Wanda Pearl McDonald. Their union produced three sons: Donnie Stephen Bray, Michael Gene Bray, and Rickey Dean Bray. Growing up in the difficult times after the depression instilled in Bill a good work ethic. He was always a very hard working man, putting in many long hours to support his family. One of his first jobs after college was the dangerous job of working as a powder monkey on a road building crew throughout Oklahoma and all the way down to Corsicana, Texas. A veteran, Bill served in the Oklahoma National Guard for many years. Later, moving to the Elgin area in the early fifties, he was employed by Fred Ferrell Sr. taking care of his cattle. Bill later partnered up with his brother J.C. Bray, and they formed their own cattle business, Bray Brothers’ Cattle Company. He later became partners with Bill McCracken to form a custom hay bailing company and developed a close relationship with the McCracken family. Never one to shirk away from work, he worked as a bouncer for some 20 years at the American Legion Hut in Marlow, making many new friends in the Marlow area, and keeping the dance hall a safe and orderly place for people to enjoy dancing and some good ol’ country western music. In the 1960’s Bill drove a truck for the Meads Bakery in Lawton, which later became the Rainbow Bakery. He worked there for over 20 years until his retirement from the Teamsters Union in 1986. While living in the Elgin area, he developed many very close relationships, especially with the McCracken, the McDonald, and the Glover families. In 1984, Bill and Wanda moved from the Elgin area to Tishomingo where they had built their dream retirement home on Pennington Creek near Tishomingo, OK. They both loved just sitting on the edge of the creek, listening to the running water. A devastating time for him was when his beloved Wanda, or Babe as he affectionately called her, passed away in 2006. Bill continued to live on Pennington Creek until a stroke disabled him for the last six months of his life.

Bill is survived by three sons: Donnie Bray, Geronimo; Mike Bray and wife Patti, Marlow; Rickey Bray and wife Becky, Marlow; five grandchildren Shane Harris, Marlow; Joey Bray and wife Ashley, Marlow; Briana Harris and husband Tommy, Fletcher; Billie Macias and fiancée Dewayne Ward, Mount Ida, AR; Cody Bray and fiancée Kelli Rowlan, Lawton; two step grandchildren Jimmy and Jessy; and four great-grandchildren Reese, Raecyn, Ryder, and Logan.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Wanda Pearl Bray, three brothers Pete, J.C, and Lester Bray; a daughter-in-law Nan Beck, a daughter-in-law Loretta Bray, and two grandchildren P.J. Bray and Schulita Bray.

In lieu of flowers to honor Bill’s love for animals, please make memorial contributions to the animal shelter of your choice.


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Previous Events

Visitation

Thursday

7

Sep

2:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Elgin Funeral Home

602 A. Street
Elgin, OK 73538

Funeral

Friday

8

Sep

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Elgin Funeral Home

602 A. Street
Elgin, OK 73538

Cemetery Details

Location

Mill Creek Cemetery

East of Center Rd. on Old Mill Creek Rd.
Mill Creek, OK 74856

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