Howard T. Ray was born in Okolona, MS on November 28, 1931. He is preceded in death by his parents, James and Mable White Ray; Mattie Ray, the mother of his children; son, Howard T. Ray, Jr.; stepson, James (Tony) Jackson; brothers, James (Ned), Washington, Johnny, James (Ben), and Kenneth Ray.
Howard moved to East St. Louis, Illinois where he spent his formative years until 1950 when he enlisted in the U.S. Army. He became a Prisoner of War (POW) during the Korean Conflict and was awarded the Purple Heart. He also served in Europe, Africa and Vietnam. Howard continued his distinguished military career retiring after 29 years and six months of service. Among the many other medals he was awarded were: the Combat Infantryman Badge, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal - 2 Oak Leaf Clusters. Following retirement from the Army, Howard became a civilian employee at Ft. Sam Houston TX, retiring in 1997. He also served his communities through MANY military/veterans organizations, as well as NUMEROUS civic/social organizations.
In 1996, Howard married his wife of 22 years, Gloria Pryor Ray. Howard is survived by his devoted wife and children, Patricia Ray Sumers (George), James W. Ray (Kym), Ira Wade (Melody), KDon Wade, and Eric Wilson (Kerry); sixteen grandchildren; sixteen great-grandchildren; sisters, Leanna Ray Miller, Ginger Ray Ezell (Willy), Lena Ray Ezell (Johnny), brother, Wilbert Ray (Dorothy), and a host of aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Howard was a faithful, long time member of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, 1310 Pecan Valley Dr. His home going will be held there on Monday, July 16th, at 11:00 A.M. with internment at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery. The viewing will be at Lewis Funeral Home, 811 S. W.W. White Rd, on Sunday, July 15th, from 1-7 P.M.