Jo M. (Coleman) Ray

December 24, 1933 ~ November 3, 2023 (age 89) 89 Years Old

Jo Ray Obituary

Funeral services for Jo (Mrs. Joe D.) Ray, 89, currently of Hereford, TX will be held at 2:00 PM. Thurs., Nov. 9th, 2023 in the Wheeler Mortuary Chapel with Ken Branum officiating. Burial will follow in the Portales Cemetery with Mitchell Cates, Nathan Cates, Ross England, Connor England, Jackson England, Michael Howard, Will Shaw, Maddox Shaw and JW Stockard serving as pallbearers and honorary pallbearers. The family will receive guests at the funeral home on Wed. evening from 6 to 8 PM. Those desiring to make memorial contributions may send them to the Alzheimer's Association, 225 N. Michigan Ave. Floor 17 Chicago, IL 60601 or to the charity of your choice.

Mennie Jo Ray, known virtually by everyone as "Jo", was born Dec. 24, 1933 in Gary, Panola, Co., TX to Joshua Burton and Claudia Winifred (Minter) Coleman, and died early morning of Nov. 3, 2023 in Dimmitt, TX. Jo's mother died when she was an infant and she was raised by her father and grandmother until her father remarried when she was 6. When a tornado destroyed their home in Gary the family moved to Plainview, TX where Jo finished school. Her favorite subjects being math and basketball! In 1954 she married Joe Barnett Howard. Together they had four children and lived in various towns in TX, settling in Hurst, TX. When her children were young Jo served as a Cub Scout and Girl Scout leader, Home Room Mother and library assistant. She obtained her cosmetology license in 1962 and worked as a beautician for many years. In 1972 Jo moved to Ruidoso, NM where she worked at the Ruidoso Downs Racetrack until opening a cafe called the Daily Double. There she met Joe Daniel Ray, they were married in Las Cruces, NM on Oct. 7, 1974. Together they had the joy of having a bigger family to love. She was happy in her roles of mother, stepmother and "other" mother to so many and especially loved all the grandchildren and great grands. 

They made their home in Portales, NM until 1990 where they owned and operated Joe D. Ray Trucking. Jo loved going on the truck with J.D., and later working in the office. She was happy to have as many people as JD would bring over for a meal. Jo was known for her homemade candy and ice cream and decorating for the holidays. They were faithful members of the First Baptist Church. 

In 1990 they moved to Hereford, TX and operated Ray Trucking until they retired. Jo enjoyed reading, gardening and cooking and loved having family and friends for any occasion. She was a member of the Woman's Division of the Chamber of Commerce, served as President one year, and named Woman of the Year in 2000. Jo was devoted to JD and took care of him at home in later years. 

She is survived by her children, Bobbie King, Ronald Howard and Vicki Cates (Dewayne) of Hereford, TX and Forrest Howard (Tammy) of Grand Prairie, TX. Stepchildren Jada (Dene) England (Ross) of Topeka, KS, Jimmy Ray (Fatima) of Las Cruces, NM, Carol Widener, (Eddie) of Kingston,WA., Beverly Gotzinger of Mesa, AZ and J.W. Stockard (Mary) of Brownfield, TX. A brother Julian (Floy)Coleman of Lamesa, TX. Half-sisters Elaine Hartley, Maxine Hartley, and Becky Hicks of Carthage, TX. Sister-in-law Louise Swires of NV. Her grandchildren, Stephanie Shaw (Will) of Clovis NM, Melissa Howard of Fort Worth, TX, Nathan Cates of Hereford, TX, Mitchell Cates of Crosbyton, TX, Michael Howard, of Artesia, NM, Connor England, Cameron England, Jackson England of Topeka, KS. And all the others that she happily claimed and considered another joy of being married to JD. And numerous great grandchildren, nieces and nephews and her "other children” Carla Hardin and Michelle Hammerback, which she treated as her own.

She is proceeded in death by her parents, sister Joyce Fulfer, half-brother Billy Wayne Coleman, grandsons Layne Cates, Joseph Howard and granddaughter Jennifer Howard, son-in-laws Gordon Gotzinger and Robert Strange, daughter-in-law Vicky Howard, brother in-law Leroy Ray, sister-in-laws Dorthy Kilmer and Jody Faye Hill, best friend Lucille Hall and by JD her husband of nearly 39 years who died June 7, 2014.

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Funeral Service
November 9, 2023

2:00 PM
Wheeler Mortuary Chapel, Portales

Video is available for this event


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