Billy Ray Eller, 84, of Burleson passed away peacefully on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. Celebration of life: Family and friends are invited to a celebration of Ray's life at 12:30 p.m. Friday in Laurel Land Memorial Chapel. Interment: Laurel Land Memorial Park of Fort Worth. Visitation: 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday in Laurel Land Funeral Home. Memorials: In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Community Hospice of Texas or the National Parkinson Foundation. Ray was born Aug. 9, 1928, in Fort Worth, the only child of Raymond and Lois Eller. He was preceded in death by his loving parents and beloved son, Ronnie Eller. He was a member of First United Methodist Church of Burleson and enjoyed cattle ranching, water skiing, and TCU football. Ray and Ruby Slayton were married on July 6, 1991. They spent 21 happy years in Burleson sharing a love of the farm, traveling and family gatherings. He served in the U.S. Navy
during World War II
, earning the Victory Medal, the American Campaign Medal and the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal. After the war, Ray attended Texas Christian University earning a degree in business administration. He was a dedicated TCU alumnus and an avid Horned Frogs fan. He enjoyed TCU games with his family and wore the purple proudly. After graduation, Ray served his country in the U.S. Air Force for three years. He remained on active duty reserve for nine years, achieving the rank of captain. Ray's career as a commercial insurance broker spanned over 40 years. As cofounder of Crump-Davis and Criterion International Managers, Ray made significant contributions to the surplus lines insurance industry. He retired from insurance in 1988. The family extends deepest gratitude to the Cleburne staff of Community Hospice of Texas and Dr. Peter Nguyen of Tarrant Nephrology Associates. Survivors: Ray is survived by his loving wife, Ruby; their children, his sons, Tom Eller and his wife, Robyn of Heath, and Andy Eller of Burleson, his daughters, Marcy Lilley and her husband, Ron, of Thousand Oaks, Calif., and Melissa Hall and her husband, Frank, of Burleson; grandchildren, Matthew Lilley, Brandon Eller, Kristen Hendrix, Kelley Jo Eller, Jamie Eller, Ryan Lilley, Jordin Lilley, Justin Lilley and Carter Hall; great-grandchildren, Gabriel Hendrix, Kain Hendrix, Aubrey Lilley and May Lea Lilley.