Ray Scott Sensanbaugher Jr., a resident of Silver City, N.M. passed away Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013 at the Rio Rancho Care Center in Rio Rancho, N.M. He was born Jan. 8, 1923 in Silver City to Ray Scott Sensanbaugher Sr. and Geraldine Nichols. He is survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Sylvia Sensanbaugher of Silver City; three sons, Rex Lee Sensanbaugher of Las Cruces, Ray Scott Sensanbaugher III and his wife Rebecca of Rio Rancho, Ken Nichols Sensanbaugher and his wife Julie of Columbus, Ind.; two daughters, Jan Rae Hanken of Anaheim Calif., Joe Ann Mulkern and husband Peter of Provo, Utah; eight grandchildren: Joseph, Caleb, Joshua, David, Kevin, Jennifer, Steven, and Bryce; and two great-grandchildren, Andrew and Eli. He was preceded in death by his parents and one grandson, Gavin. Ray was a lifelong educator and well educated himself. He held a bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from New Mexico State University where he also lettered in tennis. He then obtained another bachelor's degree in education and a master's degree in Education, both from Western New Mexico University. He taught in Bayard and then became the principal at 6th Street Elementary in Silver City. In 1951 he moved to Fullerton, Calif. and taught math and surveying classes at Fullerton College for 30 years. After retiring in 1981, he was able to move back to his beloved Silver City where he has lived since. Ray was a World War II veteran and served his country faithfully by doing all that he was asked to do. He loved his country, his state, and his community. Ray was an active member of the Masons and was involved in many other community organizations and activities. He also served on Silver City's Planning and Zoning Commission for a time. He loved his community and believed in being involved. He taught this value to his children. He was an avid tennis player and spent many hours at the courts at Western whooping up on men and boys much younger. He played until the moment he lost his eyesight, which was a sad day for him. Ray was a naturally talented musician and could play almost anything on the harmonica simply by ear. He and his wife were part of the ""Over the Hill Gang"" band that played and entertained at local rest homes and community events. His selfless service to help others feel less lonely was an example for all of us to follow. He had a habit of making up his own funny lyrics to songs and would sometimes do it on the fly. This fit with his personality of always trying to be funny and make others laugh. He loved puns and jokes and truly delighted in life. He was blessed with a sharp mind and had a nearly photographic memory. Up until the day he died, his mind and intellect had not slowed a bit and he even was cracking jokes with his caregivers the day of his death. He will be sorely missed by his family, his friends and the community of Silver City. The family would like to specifically thank the loving and caring staff of Gila Regional Medical Center as well as the staff of the Montebello and Rio Rancho Care centers for the outstanding care and treatment they gave him in his last month of life. This corner of the world is a better place because of Ray Sensanbaugher and the life he lead. Viewing will be Monday, Jan. 28 from 9-10 am at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, located at 3755 North Swan St. in Silver City with the funeral to follow at 10 a.m. with Bishop Jeremy Lewis officiating. After the service, interment will be at Fort Bayard National Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Scott, Joseph, Ken, Caleb,and Joshua Sensanbaugher and Dean Holloway. Honorary pallbearers are David and Kevin Hanken and Peter, Steven and Bryce Mulkern. Arrangements are with Terrazas Funeral Chapels. ""Trusted care of the ones you love."" (575) 537-0777. To send condolences, visit www.terrazasfuneralchapel.com.
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Published in Las Cruces Sun-News on Jan. 24, 2013