Ray H. Gibbons, age 94, of Meridian, Texas, passed away early Monday morning, September 28, 2015, at Goodall-Witcher Nursing Facility.
Funeral services were held at 11:00 A. M., Wednesday, September 30, 2015, at the Meridian First Baptist Church with Chaplain Ed Stauffer, Rev. Richard Creech, and Rev. Colin Errington, officiating. Interment was in the Meridian Cemetery. Pallbearers were James Pennington, Payton Wallace, James Gregory, Leo Young, Rex Anderson, Bob Lehman, Byron Howard, and Earl Courtney. Honorary Pallbearers were Ron Bowlin, Billy Moore, Doc Adams, Gene Harville, Greg Garland, Curt Balmos, Bob Patton, Bubba Crawford, Joe Allen, and the Meridian Volunteer Fire Department.
Ray Herald Gibbons was born on October 9, 1920 in Iredell, Texas to D. O. and Gracie Gibbons. He was an only child. Ray graduated from Iredell High School. On May 3, 1941, Ray married Tommie Webb in Glen Rose. To this marriage, one child was born, Emma Sue Gibbons. Emma Sue, better known as "Susie", was Ray and Tommie's pride and joy. Ray and Susie had a wonderful father/daughter relationship, enjoying many fishing trips and watching Texas A & M football games. Ray was so proud of Emma Sue and her accomplishments at Texas A & M, where she served on the faculty for many years.
After working with his dad for a few years, Ray joined the U. S. Marine Corps in 1945 and served in China during World War II. He received the rank of Lance Cpl. Upon discharge from the Marine Corp, he returned to his beloved Bosque County and lived on a farm near Cranfills Gap with his family. In 1957, he moved his family to Meridian, where he worked with his dad in the carpentry business.
Ray was Postmaster at the Meridian Post Office for several years. He was also very active in the Meridian Fire Department for 39 1/2 years and Fire Chief for 16 years. Fire training was very important to Ray, and he was a Trainer at the Texas A & M Fire Academy for several years. He was a member of the First Baptist Church in Meridian for 65 years, during which time he was also a Deacon for some years. Until his death, he was the eldest male member of First Baptist Church. Ray received the Meridian Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004. He was an active Storm Watcher as long as his health allowed.
Ray was preceded in death by his parents, Derwin Orvil Gibbons and Gracie Lee Ray Gibbons; his wife, Tommie, of 64 years; and his daughter, Emma Sue.
Ray is survived by several cousins and multiple friends.
The family and friends wish to thank Dr. Kyle Phillips and Goodall-Witcher Nursing Facility for their compassionate care in his 6 years as a resident at GWNF.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.lawsonfuneralhome.net.
Arrangements by Lawson Funeral Home, Meridian, Texas 254-435-2792.