Joseph William Ray, a resident of Eugene, died on March 2, 2013 in Eugene. He was 35 years of age.
Joseph was born on April 1, 1977 in Klamath Falls, Oregon and was the son of Joseph and Merry (Deasy) Ray. He moved with his family to Cottage Grove. He graduated from Creswell High School where he played on the Football team.
In December of 1999, he enlisted in the Oregon Army National Guard. He served with the 1-186 Infantry in Klamath Falls. With this unit, as a one year tour, he deployed to Egypt for Operation Southern Watch ending 2003. He then transferred to a State National Guard Forward support unit and served in Operation Noble Eagle/Enduring Freedom for over a year. Joe rejoined his Infantry brothers and served on the Task Force Oregon in September 2005 to conduct security and relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He later transferred to A 1-162 Infantry in Eugene, Oregon. He deployed to Iraq in May 2009 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He received his honorable discharge in January 2013 at the rank of Specialist.
Joe also worked for Union Pacific Railroad for 5 years as a System Ballast Regulator.
He was very talented and had many hobbies. He was a qualified Scuba Rescue Diver and was a loving playful daddy. He enjoyed photography and played the trumpet and harmonica. He loved people and was always willing to lend a helping hand to those less fortunate. He also loved his family. Of everything that he enjoyed and accomplished in his life, Joe had a great love and dedication to the military and his fellow comrades. He loved being a soldier and was proud to wear the uniform. He was a true patriot and protector of our great country.
Joe is survived by his mother, Merry Deasy of Malin Or, his daughter, Angelina Ray of Junction City Or, fiancé, Stephanie Rose and her son Gabriel of Eugene Or, sisters, Kelly Eastman of Madras Or, Mindy Bench of Cottage Grove Or, Ramona Treat of Salem, Or and uncles Mike Deasy of Port Arthur Tx and James Ray of Wenatchee Wa, along with numerous nieces and nephews that were very special to him. He is also survived by his many friends who will miss him dearly.
A celebration of Joe's life will be held on Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 4:00 pm at Elks Lodge 1904. A graveside service with military honors will be held on Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at 12:00 pm at Willamette National Cemetery. Bateman Carroll Funeral Home is handling the arrangements..