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Joseph Dean Ray, III February 24, 1935 – March 23, 2024

Celebration of Life


Joseph Dean Ray, III.

Joseph Dean Ray, III, fondly known as Grandpa Joe, was born Feb. 24, 1935 in Depew, Oklahoma where he was raised by his paternal grandparents. He passed March 23 at Tehachapi Adventist Hospital.

His favorite memory was Grandma's cinnamon rolls. "Joe D! Are you in those cinnamon rolls?" and he would sheepishly exit the pantry. In 1945, he moved to Coalinga, California to join his father, stepmother and their three children, Charles, Douglas and Linda Ray. He graduated from Coaling High in 1954. Joe then took classes at the local Junior College before joining the United States Air Force where he developed his life talent as an Electronic Technician. This occupation took him on his life's journey with the National Aeronautic Space Administration and the Federal Aviation Administration. He retired in May 1993.

Joe was a pillar of his community. He was coach and manager of the Seals and Stars at Monte Vista Little League for over 20 plus years. He also helped coach Little League in California City while his grandchildren participated. He would drive 42 miles one way. He would pick up and drop off those children whose parents were working just so the kids could be on the team.

When his health prevented him from coaching, Grandpa Joe decided he would help at elementary schools in Lancaster. Desert View, Mariposa, Amargosa, West Winds and Nancy Corey all benefitted from his knowledge of math. He volunteered over 30 years tutoring 4th and 5th grade math. His last day of tutoring was Dec. 15, 2023.

Survivors include Widow Frances C. of Rosamond; Siblings: Douglas Ray of Bakersfield, Charles Ray of Claremore, Oklhoma; and Linda Ray of San Diego, California; Sons: Joseph D Ray, Jr. of Las Vegas, Nevada and his children: Joshua Ray and children: Lacy, James, and Devon Ray; Tyler Ray of Salt Lake, Utah and his child, Taylor Ray; and Shannon and Christian Del Barrio of Las Vegas Nevada, and their children Charlotte and Aurora; John G and Martha Ray of Lancaster and their children: Savannah Ray and Anthony Najera, their child Oliver; Breanna and Matthew Martinez and their daughter, Skye; Priscilla and Esto Sanchez; Malaya, Leilana, and Kaia Ray. Stepchildren: Anthony Drake of Spokane, Washington; Denise, Daniel Wilkins of Rosamond; Thomas and Wilkins of Ridgecrest, California; Margarett and Michael Schulte and their children, Morgan, Chloe and Emma Baly, Samantha and Isaac Schulte of Kernville, California; Edward A. Gaffney of Palmdale, and his children Veronica and Connor; Annika K Gaffney of Seattle, Washington and her daughter, Madison Harth.

Funeral services will be held in the Bakersfield National Cemetery at 1:15 p.m. on April 15. Douglass White of Desert Community Church will officiate.

Wood Family Funeral Service has been entrusted with his care. For condolences please visit http://www.woodmortuary.net/.

To read the full obit and learn more about Grandpa Joe, visit http://www.woodmortuary.net/obituaries/Joseph-Ray-13/#!/Obituary/.