A. Raymond McAvoy, age 65, of Mount Gilead, died Monday evening, October 29, 2012, at home surrounded by his loving family following a courageous battle with cancer.
On August 23, 1947, Ray was born in Richwood, West Virginia, one of five sons of the late Gorrel and Hazel (Williamson) McAvoy. As a family, they moved to Morrow County in the mid 1950‚s when he was a child, in search of work, which his father found at the Whirlpool Corp. in Marion. He graduated from Cardington in the Class of 1965.
Shortly following graduation, Ray joined his father at the Whirlpool Corporation, where he would work for the next 41 years of his life. After a few years there, he went back to school at the Marion Technical College, where he earned a degree in Maintenance Technology. He then used his degree to become a maintenance technician at Whirlpool, which was the position he would have until his retirement in August of 2007. Also, he was a member of their P.E.O. (Plan Emergency Organization).
Whenever Ray decided he wanted to do something, he always went all out, just like he did when decided he wanted to get a horse for his step-daughter, Jenny, to show in the fair. Before you knew it, Ray had a breeding farm, 28 horses, and was a part of every horse club around. Some of the clubs he was most active in were the Morrow County Horse and Pony Club, he was a lifetime member of the Horse Council of Ohio, and was formerly a member of the 'Over the hill gang'. Before he fell in love with riding horses, he had loved riding motorcycles and was a part of the Gold Wing Road Riders Association.
An outdoorsman, you could never keep Ray inside the house. He loved packing up the camper and horse trailer, to go to his favorite state parks, Mohican and Hocking Hills, with his wife and grandchildren. On those trips, they would ride his trail horses all throughout the park trails, and they also rode his four wheelers there too. He also loved going to car shows with his grandchildren, to show off his restored 66‚ Ford Mustang.
Getting a second chance at love, Ray fell for a lady in the horse barn, Dottie Cooper. They were married on December 22, 2006, and have cherished their six years together.
With 'his bark being worse than his bite', Ray may have talked tough but everyone who knew him, knew him for his tender, soft and loving side. Nevertheless, you also knew where you stood with Ray, as he was a straight shooter who said whatever was on his mind.
In his younger days, Ray volunteered for the Edison Fire Department.
He will be dearly missed by his wife, Dottie Cooper McAvoy; two children: Deborah (Keith) Fissell, and James McAvoy, all three of Mount Gilead; a step daughter, Jenny Bachelder of Johnsville; seven grandchildren: Kelsi and Caleb Fissell, Sierra, Makayla, and Dustin McAvoy, and Cody and Lane Bachelder; four brothers: Jerry (Sue) McAvoy of Mount Gilead, Gary (Patty) McAvoy of Cardington, Roger McAvoy of Jackson Center, and Dana (Cheryl) McAvoy of Rico, Arizona; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Ray's family will greet friends from 4 - 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 1st, at the Snyder Funeral Home, 76 S. Main St., Mount Gilead. Services honoring his life will also be held there on Friday at 11:00 a.m., with Pastor Lawrence Combs officiating. Burial will follow in Glendale Cemetery in Cardington, with the final part of his journey appropriately taking place using a horse drawn hearse.
His family would like to extend a heartfelt 'thank you' to everyone at Hospice of Morrow County for their tender and loving care of Ray.
Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Morrow County, and may be sent to the care of the funeral home.
Snyder Funeral Homes of Mount Gilead is honored to have been chosen to serve Ray‚s family and your private condolences may be expressed to them by visiting www.snyderfuneralhomes.com.
Published in The Morrow County Sentinel on Oct. 31, 2012