Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, April 21, at Rost Funeral Home, McMurtrey Chapel. Burial will follow at Mountain View Cemetery.
"Ray lived a long life filled with exuberance and fun," his family said.
Born and raised in the South, he chose to join the Navy during World War II. After the war, he joined the Army Air Corps (US Air Force). While in the Air Force, he fought in the Korean and Vietnam wars. "He was true American and patriot," his family said.
"Ray had an extraordinary ear for music. He picked up the fiddle in his youth and played until his death," his family added. "He didn't have formal music lessons, instead learned by listening. He was also a self-taught musician of the guitar and mandolin. He belonged to many bands throughout his life. He loved the old time bluegrass and country music of the South. His family truly enjoyed listening to him play!"
They added that "Ray had a passion for religion and lived his life accordingly. He could have been an energetic old time preacher. He loved to play 'old time' religion songs on his fiddle."
Ray also loved lapidary and making jewelry. He was a rock hound who continually picked up interesting looking rocks that could be made into jewelry.
He also liked to fix things, his family said. "He would continually find or make parts to put together. He fixed many bicycles for his family members so that they could all go on a ride after dinners."
Ray loved being outdoors. His grandchildren remember his love of farming, fishing, cooking, and gardening. "He was patient in teaching his grandchildren the things he loved."
"They remember fondly the late-night poker games, laughing, talking, and having a great time with their 'Grandpa'," his family said, adding, "Ray had a great sense of humor and sunny personality to match. He was rarely seen without a smile on his face and could make many people smile with his infections humor. He loved to socialize, because he loved life."
He was a member and Past Chaplain of the Mountain Home Elks Lodge #2276, and a member of American Legion Post #26.
Ray is survived by: two daughters, Linda and her husband, Michael Lyons, and Merlyne and her husband, David Farnesworth, all of Mountain Home; two sons, Michael Rodgers and his friend, Mariann Reese of Mountain Home, and Thomas and his wife, Kelly Rodgers, of King Hill; 11 grandchildren and four great- grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Irene, three brothers and one sister.