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Joseph E. Ray age 84, of Mt. Sterling, Illinois passed away at 12:23 p.m. Thursday, March 16, 2023 at Golden Good Shepherd Home in Golden, Illinois.
Joe was born May 10, 1938 in Cooperstown, Illinois, a son of Francis and Mary Busen Ray. He married Joyce McCoy Ray on April 8, 1967 in Mt. Sterling and she preceded him in death on December 15, 2006.
Joe was a member of Holy Family Catholic Church in Mt. Sterling, attended Brown County schools, including St. Mary Academy, before graduating from Brown County High School with the class of 1956. He then served in the United States Army for two years, stationed primarily in Germany before serving in the Army Reserves. Joe farmed over 60 years east of Mt. Sterling raising cross bred black angus cattle along with corn and soybeans. He had with many friends in the cattle industry whom he always enjoyed visiting with. Joe helped with the construction of several farm ponds on his properties and passed his love of farming to his son and business partner, Andy. He will be remembered for his enthusiasm for John Deere 4020 tractors, black baldy cows, Coca Cola with lots of ice, his pickup truck, and home grown tomatoes.
Joe was a community minded man, having served on the Brown County Board for 14 years, including a time as chairman. He also served as Mt. Sterling Township Supervisor for many years. Joe also looked forward to attending local events such youth sports, gatherings of family and friends, benefit dinners, and the Brown County Fair. He will be remembered for quietly helping others, and being a good neighbor.
Survivors include one daughter, Julie Radel, and her husband, Ted, of Quincy. One son, Andy Ray, and his wife, Suzanne, of Mt. Sterling. One treasured grandson, Joseph Radel. A sister, Flo Wort, and her husband, Larry, of Springfield, Illinois. 2 Brothers, Jim Ray, and his wife, Rosanne, of Mt. Sterling and Dan Ray, and his wife, Nancy, of Springfield, Illinois. One brother-in-law Richard McCoy, and his wife, Laurie, of Jacksonville, Illinois. Numerous nieces and nephews including, Susan Ray and Cathy O’Connor, both of Mt. Sterling also survive along with many cousins including Sandi McCaskill, and her husband Gary of Timewell, Illinois.
He was preceded in death by his parents, a sister, Joan O’Connor, and her husband, Donald, parents-in-law George A. and Virginia Lappin McCoy and one brother-in-law John McCoy.
A funeral mass will be held at 11:00 a.m. Monday, March 20, 2023 in the Holy Family Catholic Church in Mt. Sterling with Father Aaron Kuhn and Deacon Mike Ellerman officiating.
Burial will follow in the Hersman Cemetery. Military honors will be conducted at the graveside by the Illinois National Guard Funeral Honors Detail and the Mt. Sterling American Legion Post #374.
Visitation will be held from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. on Sunday at the Hendricker Funeral Home in Mt. Sterling. A prayer service will be conducted at the conclusion of the visitation Sunday evening at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, the family would prefer memorials may be made to the Hersman Cemetery, Holy Family Catholic Church, or Brown County Little League.
Condolences for the family may be left on line at hendrickerfuneralhome.com.
The Hendricker Funeral Home in Mt. Sterling is assisting the family with the arrangements.
Holy Family Catholic Church
Mount Sterling IL
Brown County Little League