Jimmy Reece Raney, 75, passed away peacefully at his home, surrounded by his family Monday, June 2, 2014, after his battle with Lewy Body Dementia and Parkinson's. In recent months, Jim was under the care of his family members, Heart to Heart Hospice of Grayson County and Carestaff Continuous Care.
Jim was born March 13, 1939 in Sherman, Texas to Stewart and Berniece Raney. He attended Denison Schools.
Prior to graduating, Jim married Patricia Burgess. They had one daughter. On May 27, 1957, Jim started working for The Denison Herald. While there, he learned how to use a linatype machine as well as other methods of printing through the years. He worked with Denison Herald until it merged with The Sherman Democrat becoming The Herald Democrat.
Jim was known for his humorous stories, adventures wearing "Dickies" and having "the look." He retired in 2004 after 46 1/2 years of service. A co-worker once wrote, "I got a feeling that when the roll is called up yonder, the battle cry will be 'stop the presses, ole Jim is here!!'"
Jim was drafted on Pearl Harbor Day, December 7, 1961. He went to Fort Chafee, Ark. for basic training, then was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas.
On September 1, 1962, he married Melanie (Ford). After one month of marriage, the Cuban crisis started. His unit/division was sent to to Fort Benning, Ga. awaiting transport into Cuba where he would set up intelligence before the ground troops arrived. For his preparedness in intelligence, Jim was awarded the Presidential Citation from John F. Kennedy.
He served 2 years active/2 years inactive duty where he was a Rifle Marksman. He remained in the army until his discharge, December 6, 1963, returning to his job at The Denison Herald and continuing in the reserves until December 6, 1967 where he received his honorable discharge.
Some of Jim's hobbies/interests included photography, stamp collecting, painting, writing and an avid builder and flyer of control line and/or radio control airplanes. Jim was selected modeler of the year in 1984 and was voted vice president of the model airplane club for the year 1985.
Jim and Melanie celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on September 1, 2012 with numerous family and friends.
Jim was preceeded in death by his parents, Stewart and Berniece Raney, several aunts, uncles, cousins, a son-in-law, Kenny Reese, and father-in-law, Jessie (Bill) Ford.
Jim is survived by his wife, Melanie Raney of the home, two daughters: Kristie Thames and husband Dennis of Hobbs, N.M., Allison Neal and husband Bob of Denison; two sons: Brian Raney and wife Becky of Tom Bean, Texas and Scot Raney and wife Brenda of Sherman; 12 grandchildren, six great grandchildren, and awaiting the arrival of an additional two.
Pallbearers will be Blaine Shives, Robert Russell, Landen Mitchell, Jay Ford, Christopher Redd, Glenn Redd and Mike Nelson.
Arrangements are under the direction of Bratcher Funeral Home. Family night will be Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. Funeral will be 11 a.m. Friday at Bratcher's. Burial will follow at Fairview Cemetery.
The family would be especially honored by memorial donations to Heart to Heart Hospice of Grayson County in Sherman.