Gary Kenneth Ray, SFC (R), 47, of Franklin, Tenn., went to be with the Lord on June 16, 2013.
Mass of Christian burial to celebrate Gary’s life will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 407 E. Eldorado, Decatur, with the Rev. John Burnette as celebrant. Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Moran and Goebel Funeral Home in Decatur. Burial with military honors conducted by the U.S. Army and Macon County Honor Guard will be in St. Isidore Cemetery in rural Dalton City. In lieu of flowers please donate, in honor of Gary Kenneth Ray, SFC (R.), to the Wounded Warrior Project: www.woundedwarriorproject.org or via 1-855-448-3997. Online condolences may be left at www.moranandgoebel.com.
He was born in Decatur to Ken Ray and Carole Ray. Gary graduated from St. Teresa High School in Decatur. He enlisted in the United States Army just after graduation. He served in numerous campaigns for 21 years, including Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was most proud of his accomplishments while serving as crew chief on a Blackhawk and then as station commander in the U.S. Army Recruiting Command. During his military service, he received the following awards: The Bronze Star Medal, The Meritorious Service Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal with Two Campaign Stars, Two Campaign Stars, Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal Second Award, Army Achievement Medal Sixth Award, Arm Superior Unit Award, Army Good Conduct Fifth Award, National Defense Service Medal Second Award, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, US Army Recruiter Badge with 3 Sapphire Stars, Senior Aircraft Crewman Badge, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge and Expeditionary Medal.
After honorably retiring in March 2010, he used his military expertise to motivate young people to become better citizens in the Army JROTC program at Fred J. Page High School, Franklin, Tenn. Within his duties as a JROTC instructor, he coached the award-winning “Patriot Battalion” Air Rifle team. He loved hunting, fishing and spending time outdoors. He was a man of honor and duty who loved his wife, family and country.