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Billy Joe Ray
February 6, 1942 ~ October 25, 2023 (age 81) 81 Years Old
Billy Joe Ray died October 25, 2023, at Memorial Hospital in Shiloh, Illinois following a short bout with lung cancer.
Billy was born on February 6, 1942, to George Virgil Ray and Mary Ray (Albers). He grew up in Prairie du Rocher, Illinois and graduated from high school in Red Bud, Illinois. He worked for a quarry, a railroad and at Monsanto before spending the last 30 years of his work career at Conoco-Phillips.
Billy married Mary Margaret Hartigan on November 7, 1987. Over the next 36 years they lived in Belleville, Swansea, Breese and Highland, Illinois. Together they enjoyed travel (especially cruises), fine dining, car rides to see the leaves changing colors, and quality family time.
Billy was a Christian, praying and reading his Bible daily. He was a member of numerous churches in his life; most recently he was, along with his wife Mary, members of Faith Lutheran in O’Fallon, Illinois.
Billy was always an outstanding athlete and concentrated on his love of golf in his later years. It was not unusual for him to shoot his age, quite an accomplishment. He also loved to fish and just be outdoors. His greatest love was for his family, and he took great joy in any time spent with them.
Surviving are his wife, Mary Ray of Highland; a son and daughter-in-law Michael and Peggy Ray of Columbia, IL; a daughter and son-in-law Vicky and Robert Mason of Dardenne Prairie, MO; and daughter and son-in-law Susan and Gary Smith of Holcomb, MO; and three grandchildren David and Katie Ray of Waterloo, IL; Kevin and Marissa Mason of Kansas City, MO; and Jennifer and Nate McConnaughhay of Lake St Louis, MO; great-grandsons Cooper Michael Ray and Oliver Paul McConnaughhay. Also surviving are a brother Rick Ray of Prairie du Rocher, IL; sister Barb (Don) Roth of Red Bud, IL: sister Susie Ray of Red Bud, IL: sister Connie (Ron) Mulholland of Red Bud, IL: sister Kim (Dan) Miller of Red Bud, IL: sister Nancy (Michael) Brown of Swansea, IL. Preceding him in death were his parents Virgil and Mary Ray; brothers Jerry, Chuck and Terry, and sister Sherry Bachelor.
A private celebration of life will be held at a date to be determined. Memorial donations can be made to Freedom House MBTC, PO Box 221, Holcomb, MO, 63852.