George Arnold Ray, 85, of Meadville and formerly of Oil City, died Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, at Meadville Medical Center.
He was born in Kaneville (Venango County) on April 2, 1927, a son of George Walter and Virgie Mae Manson Ray. He met the love of his life, Georgia Lou Smith, at Henry’s Bend, and married her on Aug. 9, 1947; she survives.
He cherished family times at Conneaut Lake where he built a family cottage, which became the setting for many happy memories and celebrations, most recently his and Lou’s 65th wedding anniversary. The home he built in Meadville has also been a source of joy for his family where his grandchildren and great-grandchildren enjoyed swimming in the pool at the holiday gatherings. He will be fondly remembered as a devoted family man who would do anything for anyone.
He was a 1945 graduate of Oil City High School and was a veteran of World War II, serving in the U.S. Navy as a hospital corpsman. He joined Associated Contractors in the mid-1950s and became part-owner in 1973. He retired in 1993 as vice president of operations. Over the years at Associated Contractors, he was involved in the construction of several buildings on the campus of Allegheny College, the Meadville Downtown Mall & Ed Kau Buildings, the Route 8 Bridge between Franklin and Oil City, the Presbyterian Home in Oil City, Rocky Grove High School, Cranberry High School and several other projects across the country. In his retirement he operated Ray’s Backhoe Service.
He was a member of Stone United Methodist Church in Meadville and had been a longtime member of Rouseville United Methodist Church. He loved spending time on his Kubota backhoe. He also enjoyed golf, playing in several leagues, HO scale model trains, and woodworking. He created many cherished family heirlooms in his workshop.
Survivors, in addition to his wife, Georgia Lou, of 65 years, include two daughters, Barbara Weber and her husband, Timothy, of Conneaut Lake, and Carole Schneeberger and her husband, John, of Oil City; a son, George A. Ray II and his wife, Renee, of Meadville; a brother, Robert M. Ray and his wife Mae of Canton, Ga.; seven grandchildren, Jennifer Bodnar and her husband, Shawn, Julie Weber, Heather Motter and her husband, Mark, Jason Schneeberger and his wife, Kenzie, George A. (Chip) Ray III, Tessa L. Ray and Bryan C. Ray; five great-grandchildren, Victoria Bodnar, Charlie Motter, Maggie Motter, Adam Schneeberger and Evan Schneeberger; two sisters-in-law, Susie Ray of Rouseville and Edna Ray of Norfolk, Va.; and several nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, Gerald Ray and Cecil Ray.
Private family services will be at Robert W. Waid Funeral Home Inc., 581 Chestnut St., Meadville, with the Rev. Sarah Roncolato, pastor of Stone United Methodist Church, officiating.
The family suggests memorials be made to the Salvation Army, 1087 Park Ave., Meadville, Pa. 16335.
Memories and condolences may be shared at waidfuneralhome.net.