Louis Ray Turner was born on Juneteenth in 1938 in Weatherford, Texas to Audie and Porter Turner. Ray was an adventurous child who kept everyone in stitches with his jokes and pranks. When babysitting his little sister, Beverly Turner, Ray was known to place her in a box on top of an ant pile so she wouldnt run away. Later they would ride their bikes together along the Weatherford railroad tracks, imagining different adventures. Ray played the bass drum in the Weatherford marching band and graduated from Weatherford High School in 1956. Ray married his high school sweetheart, Wanda Jean Barnes, in 1957. Together they raised two beautiful daughters, Patti Turner Mitchell and Sherri Turner Visser. Ray took great pleasure in being a father, grandfather, surrogate father, and great-grandfather. He was incredible with children, always making them feel loved, intelligent, and important. Rays incredible work ethic was demonstrated in his 30 year career in the grocery business. After retiring, Ray discovered his true calling was working with children. Ray joined Birdville ISD as a school bus driver, a position he held until 2014. He was known by the children he drove as The Rascal because of his jokes and pranks. Ray celebrated holidays with his students by sharing trinkets and instituted Coke Friday on his bus line, giving the kids tiny cokes on Friday afternoons. Ray loved learning about Texas and U.S. history. One of his favorite vacations was to Jamestown Settlement in Williamburgs, Virginia where he could feel history with his own hands. Ray was a lifelong Texas Democrat and looked forward to witnessing the first woman president, Hillary Clinton, take her oath of office in 2017. Ray passed away on October 7, 2016 in his home. His daughters held his strong hands and his grandchildren kissed his face as he passed into the next life. Ray will be buried in Peaster, Texas in the Dilbeck Family Cemetery next to the woman Ray admired most, Alta Mae Barnes, his cherished mother-in-law, whose independence and intelligence he instilled in both his daughters and they in their children. Your youth is renewed like the eagles, grandpa.
Published on October 10, 2016