Ronald Keith Bray passed away unexpectedly from this world on December 28th, 2021, at his home in Oklahoma City at the age of 74. Ron was born on July 3rd, 1947, to Thomas and Mildred Bray in Walters, Oklahoma and was their youngest of four children.
Ron later attended and graduated from John Marshall High School in Oklahoma City in 1966. At John Marshall, he met his high school sweetheart and future wife, Karen Sue Welton, and later welcomed his two daughters, Shelly and Tiffiny.
Less than 6 months after graduating high school, Ron was enlisted in the United States Army, Infantry and was immediately deployed to the Pleiku region of Vietnam during the war. In 1968, Ron was shot and injured in a battle that claimed the many lives of his platoon. Ron is a recipient of the Purple Heart and Bronze Star and his bravery and courage during Vietnam will never be forgotten.
After the Vietnam War, Ron started his career at Western Electric/AT&T/Lucent Technologies in 1968 where he held various positions including telephone expeditor, circuit repair and utility operator. He worked until his retirement in late 2003 after 35 years of service. Ron was proud and grateful of the lifetime friends he made and work he did there. Also of the fact that he knew every inch of the 1.3 million square foot facility he spent most his life in. He was a proud union member of the Communications Workers of America and earned many awards during his tenure with the company. One of his proudest awards earned multiple times was the Bonnie Small Award for quality excellence.
After retirement in 2003, Ron enjoyed a life of whatever he wanted to do, when he wanted to do it. He traveled the U.S., Mexico, and Central America, spent time with family and friends, and renewed his passion for cars. He purchased a new mustang convertible and loved to drive around Lake Hefner every morning and take trips in it. Ron also enjoyed spending some time having a cold beer with friends and seeing the folks and staff at Lumpy's Bar in Oklahoma City.
Ron loved the older country music with examples of Hank, Waylon, Willie, Merle Haggard and Gary Stewart, John Connelly, Don Williams being some of his favorites as well as rock and roll including Dire Straits, Elvis Presley, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Eric Clapton, Electric Light Orchestra. He loved to listen to the radio including AM Radio at night. Although he was not originally into Kid Rock, Eminem, or Metallica early on, he listened to them as well, with the unsolicited help of daughters Tiffiny and Shelly taking over his radio.
Ron was a die hard, loyal, lifelong OU Football Fan and loved to watch them play and took memorable trips to some of their best games over the course of his life. He was eagerly anticipating and looking forward to the recent bowl game with Bob Stoops returning, but sadly passed away before. However, on game day we are proud to report that Ron successfully predicted their huge upcoming win and believe we heard him cheering them on!
It was extremely rare that if someone met Ron in this life, that they forgot about it! From his unique voice, humor and very forward, direct demeanor, it was hard not to remember him. Never a man to mince words or have an opinion if asked, his honesty and forwardness is what all his friends and close family understood and appreciated. Although to some, Ron might have appeared to have a hard and tough outer persona, he was a very compassionate and giving individual during his lifetime that has countless stories, many unspoken, that was the reflection of who he was.
The Family would like to express their thanks and gratitude to Ron's close friends who helped him very much, especially later in life. Whether it was over a beer, having some lunch, stopping by or errands, or just saying hello, Your kindness and friendship is so appreciated!
Ron is survived by oldest daughter and husband Shelly and Kevin King of Piedmont, youngest daughter and husband Tiffiny and Tom Lewis of Oklahoma City; Grandchildren Kelsie Colbert, Clayton Colbert, Evin King, Kacen King, and Lane Lewis; Brother Loran Bray of Burkburnett Texas, Sister Lynette Woods of Oklahoma City, many nieces and nephews and long-time friends.
Ron was preceded in death by his parents Thomas and Mildred Bray, and his brother Robert Bray.
It was Ron's wish that when he did pass away from this life that a public service or traditional funeral would not be held for him. This is who he was and if you knew him, you get it! His only wish for anyone was to maybe have a beer when he is gone, tell a good story, and do something good or help somebody when you can.
The Family will plan a celebration of life at a future date.
Preparations are being made for Ron's final resting place at Fort Sill National Cemetery.
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