Ray, William "Bill"
Sidney: On Thursday, January 9, 2014, William "Bill" Ray passed away after recently fighting an exhausting battle against multiple health issues. He will be missed by his family and the Sidney community where he grew up and devoted his entire life. Born December 19, 1935, in Sidney, Bill was predeceased by his parents, Otto and Georgia; infant son, David; and two sisters, Alta Sastra and Norma Hoke. He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Diane; children, Scott, Kelly & Diane; brother, Edward; grandchildren, Koren and Elijah; and a host of nieces, nephews and friends. A 1954 Sidney graduate, Bill worked as a toolmaker at Amphenol Corp. for 39 years, retiring in 1997. Bill was an avid volunteer and a great supporter of Sidney Warriors sporting events... he could be found most nights volunteering or cheering-on the Sidney players of whatever sport was in season. But by far, his first love was always baseball. For decades, regardless of weather or extenuating circumstances, Bill tirelessly cared for Sidney's community baseball fields and positively influenced generations of kids while coaching the Sidney Moose Lodge 277 Little League team for 40 years or more. No one (including Bill) can remember for sure when he started. Other accomplishments include 40 years as treasurer for his bowling league, member of Sidney Recreation Committee since 1978, veteran of the U.S. Air Force, Moose Club Citizen of the Year 1991, Sidney Rotary Community Service Award in 2007 and lifelong fan of the Dodgers baseball and Browns football teams. Bill was especially proud to have walked his daughter, Diane, down the aisle last summer when she married Rob Dewey. He thoroughly enjoyed the company of his grandsons, Koren and Elijah of Rochester, and invited them to spend entire summers in Sidney where Bill's community involvement always ensured plenty of activities for young people. Bill's family is so proud of his accomplishments, involvement in his community and positive influence he was able to pass on to innumerable kids he had the honor and pleasure of coaching all those years. We extend our overwhelming thanks to everyone who played a part in making Bill's life fulfilling, chaotic, enjoyable, challenging and ultimately... perfect. You are all invited to attend calling hours at the C.H. Landers Funeral Home from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, January 17, and/or funeral services at 11 a.m. on Saturday, January 18, at Sidney United Methodist Church. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Sidney United Methodist Church or the Sidney Recreation Committee; or please volunteer or otherwise support one or more of your local sports programs that Bill so passionately and selflessly supported throughout his lifetime.
Published in Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin on Jan. 15, 2014