He was born on March 7, 1924, Grand Junction, Colorado, the youngest of six children to Henry and Nan Owens Fisher. After his mothers death when he was six, he was raised by Aunt and Uncle Dee Moffat Ray and Sara Helen Owens Ray. He asked that they adopt him when he was 16 and became Joe Dee Ray.
He was valedictorian of Stringtown High School and surrendered to preach when he was 16. He graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University and Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary, earning a master’s degree. He married Jeanne Marie Cooper on June 12, 1949 in Atoka, Oklahoma.
He was a member of the Masonic Lodge in McAlester, Oklahoma and completed his consistery there and was a member of the Rotary, Kiwanis and Lions clubs.
Pallbearers were Bryan David Blake, Jeremy David Berthold, Franklin Brock Wendt, Stephen Christopher Peck, Samuel Keith Wendt and Russell Hill Wendt. Honorary pallbearers were Diane Denise Blake and Karen Elizabeth Blake Peek.
Surviving is his wife, Jeanne Ray; daughters, Mary Helen and husband Dr. Gregory Blake of Knoxville, Tenn., Nan Sue and husband Steve Wampler of Denison, Peggy Jeanne and husband Steve Wendt of Sadler, TX., Dee Ann and husband Rev. Russell Clemons of Denison; nine grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Churches pastored by Joe Dee Ray was; Albion, Ok., Dickson, Ok., Graham, Ok.,Rush Springs, Ok., Antlers, Ok., First Baptist, Wewoka, Ok., First Baptist in Durant, Ok., First Baptsist in McAlester, Ok., Olivet Baptist in Oklahoma City, First Baptist in Borger in Texas, retiring in from First Baptist in Denison, Tx. After his retirement, he began preaching full time again, ministering at Silo Baptist in Durant, Ok., where he again retired. He helped to establish Faith Fellowship Baptist Church in Denison and also preached for Voca Baptist Church in Voca, Ok.
Always active in the Southern Baptist Conventions, he served as Couselor for the Oklahoma State Baptist Student Union and 1st Vice President of Oklahoma Southern Baptist Convention. He held more than 100 revival during his career and during retirement and he often supplied as preacher for many churches as well.
He loved to travel, visiting every state of the United States and preaching in several of those states. He visited every continent except for Antarctica and Australia and preached on three continents, Europe, South America and North America.
Services were held at 1 p.m. March 10, 2012 at Faith Fellowship Baptist Church in Denison. Officiating was Rev. Russell Clemons, his son-in-law and pastor of the church. Burial was followed at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at the Atoka Cemetery in Atoka, Ok.
Family night was 6-8 p.m. Friday night at Johnson-Moore Funeral Home.
The family requests memorials to Living Memorial, Faith Fellowship Baptist Church, 4305 W. Crawford St., Denison, Tx. 75020. Condolences may be registered to www.johnsonmoorefuneralhome.net