Paul was born on August 5, 1949 in Escanaba, son of Marvin and Bernice (Gustafson) Ray.
Paul graduated from Bark River-Harris High School in 1967 and resided in the Perronville and Bark River areas all of his life.
Paul served as a truck driver in the U.S. Army before being honorably discharged in 1970.
On April 19, 1975, Paul married Carole Guard at the Carney Free Church. Paul worked alongside many family members and friends to build their home in Bark River, where he resided the rest of his life. He was a loving husband, and Paul and Carole were blessed to celebrate 40 years of marriage last year.
He was a devoted father, and everyone who met him knew how proud he was of his twin girls. Family was one of the most important things in Paul’s life, and almost everything he enjoyed doing involved spending time with them. After his daughters were both married, Paul was blessed to gain son-in-laws that he thought of as sons. Just when he thought his life couldn’t be any more complete, he became a grandpa to his sweet Maddie Joy.
Since childhood, he was involved with helping on the family farm and establishing Ray’s Feed Mill in Bark River, where he was part owner. Paul always considered it a privilege to work closely with his family, until he was no longer physically able.
He was always a people person who enjoyed spending time with his family and friends. No matter where he went, he always found someone to talk to. In his earlier years, he loved being outside, whether hunting, golfing, or fishing. He was also a member of the Bark River American Legion and the D.A.V. Although numerous health conditions in the past years often prevented him from doing the things he loved, it never affected his love for people. His great sense of humor would shine through on even some of his hardest days.
Paul was an active member of the Bark River Bible Church for many decades. He had a great bass voice, and used his talent to sing praises as a worship leader and in special music, including a men’s quartet. As an AWANA leader, his enthusiastic personality helped to encourage area kids. He also taught Sunday school and was a youth group leader. His attitude was one that inspired others, and even though he was struggling daily to deal with his health conditions, he was always a faithful example of Christ’s love.
Survivors include his wife, Carole of Bark River; twin daughters, Bethany (Andrew) Gearhart of Powers and Brittany (Steve) Dubord of Bark River; his parents, Marvin and Bernice Ray of Bark River; granddaughter, Madilyn Dubord of Bark River; four brothers, Tom (Charlotte) Ray of Bark River, Jim (Janice) Ray of Green Bay, Mark (Nancy) Ray of Bark River and Rick (Michelle) Ray of Bark River; sister, Ruth (Don) Ives Jr. of Bark River; and many nieces, nephews, and friends.
Visitation will be on Thursday, March 17th from 4 to 7 p.m. EST at the Bark River Bible Church. The funeral service will follow at 7 p.m. with Pastor Brad Cochrane officiating. A meal will follow in the church hall.
Burial will be in the Carney Free Church Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Lake Lundgren Bible Camp where Paul accepted the Lord at 9 years of age.
The Crawford Funeral Homes are assisting the Ray family.