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Edward Ray Holley was born July 18, 1942 the seventh child of eleven children born to John and Mattie Holley in Riverview, Oklahoma. He passed away on May 19, 2020 in his home of Bethel Acres, Oklahoma at the age of 77. He attended school in Camargo, Oklahoma, graduating in 1960. He played basketball and baseball and was a proud Blackhawk Alumni. After graduation he moved to Oklahoma City and worked briefly as a carpenter’s helper building the 89er’s Inn.
In August of 1961, at the age of 19 he started his lifelong career at Helmerich & Payne International Drilling Co. of Tulsa, Oklahoma (“H&P”). During his forty-four-year career at H&P, he worked in the oilfields of Western Oklahoma and then in Anaco, Venezuela from there to the Amazon Jungles of Peru, then to Bolivia and his last foreign assignment in Belize.
Moving back to the United States he continued his oilfield career back in Oklahoma, Texas, and Louisiana. After retiring from H&P in 2005, he took two years off and then returned to the oilfield as a consultant and then a brief stint as the Drilling Superintendent for Roadrunner Drilling a subsidiary of Chaparral Energy in Oklahoma City.
Ray was involved in numerous community organizations. He and his BBQ team cooked for the Oklahoma Food Bank on several occasions. In the Bethel Community where his four daughters attended school, he served on the Bethel School Board of Education for several years. He was an active member of the Oilfield Christian Fellowship and assisted in the Oilfield Bible Ministry. He was also an active member of New Hope Baptist Church where he served as a Trustee and the Brotherhood Director until he became ill.
Time spent away from work was often spent attending his daughter’s basketball games (regardless if they were the team manager or a player) and later his grandkids’ baseball, football, basketball and livestock show activities. He was always their #1 fan.
Family vacations were often spent at the H&P Cabins on Lake Ft. Gibson. One of his greatest hobbies was jug-line fishing with his son-in-laws, grandkids, brothers, sisters and dear family friends.
Ray was preceded in death by his parents, John & Mattie Holley, five brothers John Charles, Billy Joe, Eldo, L.R and Gordon and two sisters Gay Nealy and Mae Ruth Abbott, father and mother in-law Norman & Hazel Morris, brother-in-laws; David Nealy, Roy Robinson, Larry Ramey, Kenneth Reisdorph and Tom Pixton, sister-in-laws; Carolyn Holley and Evelyn Reisdorph.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years Opal Loreta of Bethel Acres, OK, daughter LaRae & Charles Levy of Tulsa, OK and grandson Chesley Guinn of Bethel Acres, OK, daughter Debra & Phillip Pinkston with grandchildren; Holden & Bobbie Pinkston and great-grandchildren Hadlee, Baylor and Brier, grandson Hunter Pinkston all of Bethel Acres, OK, daughter Sonya & Philip Palomares with grandchildren; Gabriel of Bethel Acres, OK, Matt & Sabra Palomares of Blanchard, OK, Jake Palomares and great-granddaughter Aubrey of Tecumseh, OK and Tyler & Amelia Palomares and great-grandson Liam of Harrisburg, PA, daughter Amanda & Tim Felkner with grandchildren; Tricia Felkner and great-grandson Daxton all of Bethel Acres, OK, Craig & Whitney Greer of Shawnee, OK and Chase Greer of Benton Ridge, OH, one brother Harold and his wife Lois Holley of Camargo, OK and sisters; Meredith Ramey of Camargo, OK, Ginger and husband Don Boren of Woodward, OK, sisters-in-law Marie Pixton of Elk City, OK, Beverly Holley of Bethany, OK and Wanda Holley of Shattuck, OK, brothers-in-law Lyndel and wife Vickie Morris of Vici, OK and Dale Morris of Vici, OK and numerous nieces, nephews and a host of precious friends.
The family would like to give a special thanks to Dr. Parmer and to Jessie, Kayla and Pam at Loving Care Hospice for taking such good care of him during their home visits.
The family will be at Walker Funeral Service from 6pm to 8pm Thursday to receive friends.
Services will be 11:00am Friday, May 22, 2020 at New Hope Baptist Church with John Mixon officiating.
Burial will follow at New Hope Cemetery.
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