Raymond Eugene "Ray" Ethridge, 64, passed away May 2, 2014 in Waco, Texas. Funeral services will be 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at Prairie Grove Baptist Church with Rev. Clifton Jones and Judge Daniel Burkeen officiating. Graveside services with full Military Honors will follow in the Lost Prairie Cemetery. Visitation with the family will be 6-8 p.m., Tuesday, at Blair-Stubbs Funeral Home and from 1-2 p.m. at Prairie Grove Baptist Church on Wednesday. Ray was born May 7, 1949 in Three Rivers, Michigan to Eldon and Alice Young Ethridge. He grew up in Personville and graduated from Groesbeck High School in 1967. He furthered his education through Navarro Jr. College, graduating in 1969, and then graduated from Sam Houston State University in 1971. Ray was baptized, at an early age, at the Personville Baptist Church and, in later years, joined the First Baptist Church in Mexia. In 1971, Ray enlisted in the U. S. Air Force and proudly served his country until 1975. He remained in the reserves for 20 years, of which he returned to active duty, retiring after completing 24 years of service. Ray received an award for outstanding service during the period of April 3, 1996 to April 7, 1996 at San Vito Air Station, Italy where he served as a member of the force supporting the recovery of the remains from the crash site of the USAF CT-43 Aircraft, in Dubrovnik, Croatia, which carried, among thirty-four others, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. His military career carried him to places all over the world, including Germany, Japan, Italy, Alaska and Hawaii. He also retired from Texas Department of Transportation after 23 years of service. Ray spent a number of years serving as a volunteer fireman for Hearne, Lake Mexia and Groesbeck. He enjoyed square dancing and was actively involved in the FFA. It was evident that Raymond loved to serve and help people any way possible. He was a loving and devoted son and brother, who will be deeply missed by his family. He was preceded in death by his parents; and grandparents, David and Ruth Young and Oscar and Betty Ethridge. Ray is survived by four sisters, Betty Bugh and husband, Don of College Station, Louise Morris and husband, Paul of Huntsville, Mary Foster and husband, Russell of Groesbeck and Dorothy Kilgore and husband, C.D. of Buffalo; one brother, David Ethridge of Joshua; also, by Joy Killingsworth Ethridge; two uncles, Elmer Young of Burr Oak, MI and O. B. Ethridge of Livingston; aunt, Betty Young of Burr Oak, MI; numerous cousins; six nieces; five nephews; seven great nieces; and five great nephews. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Limestone County Youth Fair Association, Groesbeck ISD FFA or charity of choice.
Tuesday, May 6th, 2014 6:00pm - 8:00pm, Blair-Stubbs Funeral Home
Wednesday, May 7th, 2014 2:00pm, Prairie Grove Baptist Church
Lost Prairie Cemetery