Mauri Ray, 85, a much loved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, teacher and U.S. Air Force pilot, passed away on Wednesday, November 29, 2017.
It is with a heavy heart that we all mourn his passing.
He was preceded in death by his devoted wife of 62 years, Nancy Ray.
Mauri leaves behind his two children, Patti Blaylock (Dewey) and Tom Ray (Lorena); grandchildren, Justin Blaylock (Allison), Christy Kowalski (Craig), Katie Ray (TJay) and Carrie O’Connor (Sean); and four great-grandchildren, Chase, Blake, Bryce and Amelia. He also has a surviving sister, Barbara Whipker of Hope.
Although, Mauri’s passing is a tragic loss for those left behind, we can celebrate his 85 years with us and all of his accomplishments.
He was born April 16, 1932. He graduated from Ball State University and left Indiana to embark on his military career that took them to Oklahoma, Louisiana, Japan, Nebraska, North Carolina and then finally, Florida.
After 20 years of distinguished service as a pilot in the Air Force, he went on to become a fifth-grade schoolteacher for another 20 years.
In the military, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, but he was probably more excited when his students won an academic competition.
He later enjoyed being the president of the Northwest Florida Symphony Guild at then Okaloosa Walton Junior College. Helping to grow the Guild was one of his favorite accomplishments.
In addition to being a great teacher, he and Nancy were consummate entertainers and travelers. The house was always full of their friends and family they cared so much about.
They loved their home of 40 years in Niceville and all who became part of their lives.
Thanks Dad, for everything you did for us … you will forever be in our hearts as we continue our life’s journey.
The visitation and funeral was held at Heritage Gardens in Niceville on Sunday, December 3, 2017 at 1 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Regency Hospice or your favorite charity.