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James L. Ray, 73, of Columbus, died at 5:15 a.m. Sunday, September 22, 2013, at his home. Born May 1, 1940, in Shelbyville, he was the son of Mary Alice Elston Ray.
He was a 1958 graduate of Columbus High School where he lettered all four years in baseball, football and basketball. He attended Indiana University and the University of Nebraska after receiving a baseball scholarship and played in the Institutional Baseball League for one year in Phoenix, AZ.
Mr. Ray was a U.S. Air Force Reservist and a member of the 434th Troop Carrier Wing. He was stationed in Columbus and was transferred from reserve to active duty during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
He began working at Weyerhaeuser in Columbus in 1968. After leaving Weyerhaeuser in 1986, he worked for PAX and PAKWAY in Ohio and retired from Inland Container in Indianapolis.
Jim enjoyed big bass fishing, horse racing, especially the Derby and Triple Crown races, and working in his beautiful yard. He loved all animals and was an avid bird watcher. He knew all the birds at the feeder, their songs, and their calls. His favorite bird was the Eastern Carolina Wren. His favorite place was Mill Race Park, walking around the lake and fishing the old pond.
Jim was an IU sports fan, especially basketball, and was a proud fan of Bobby Knight.
Survivors include his longtime companion, Sharon Sherbundy of Columbus; sisters, Sharon (James) Dickey, Janice Ballinger, and Nancy Ray, all of Columbus; nieces, Cheryl (Brian) Dieckmann and Julie (Nick) Woolls, both of Columbus; nephews, Greg (Nickcola) Dickey of Fort Wayne and Corey Bailey of Greensburg; and several great-nieces and nephews.
In keeping with Jim's wishes, there will be no calling and no service. Burial will be at Vernon Cemetery in Vernon, IN.
Memorial contributions may be made to Our Hospice of South Central Indiana, 2626 E. 17th Street, Columbus, IN 47201, or to Community Animal Rescue Effort in Columbus, P.O. Box 1234, Columbus, IN 47202.
Arrangements were made by Barkes, Weaver & Glick Funeral Home.
Online condolences may be sent to Mr. Ray's family at www.barkesweaverglick.com.
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