MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

March 17, 2013

Ray F. Kirk

1942 - 2013


— Ray F. Kirk, 70, of Muskogee, Oklahoma passed away Thursday, March 14, 2013. He was born April 5, 1942 in Tahlequah, Oklahoma to Clarence D. Kirk and Mary Kathryn Enlow Davis. Ray grew up in Tahlequah and graduated from Tahlequah High School in 1960. He continued his education at Connors State College where he lettered in football. Ray furthered his education at Northeastern State College where he graduated in 1965 with a bachelor's degree in education. After graduation, Ray taught school and coached girls' basketball at Stillwell High School and at Siloam Springs, AR before moving to Wichita, Kansas in 1967 to work for Boeing Aircraft. While in Wichita he completed his collegiate studies at Wichita State University.

In 1971, Ray was presented an opportunity with State Farm Insurance. For 32 years, he operated a successful agency and enjoyed a busy professional and civic career in Muskogee. He retired from State Farm in 2004. Ray served his state and community as Commissioner of the Oklahoma State Department of Rehabilitation from 2006 until the time of his death. As Commissioner, he exhibited a keen interest in bettering the lives of the students and faculty of the Oklahoma School for the Blind in Muskogee. Over the years, Ray was active in many civic and fraternal organizations including the Morning Optimist, Muskogee Masonic Lodge No. 28, the Bedouin Shrine and ROJ Court No. 99.

Ray was a member of First Baptist Church of Muskogee. Ray married his high school sweetheart and love of his life, Elada Diane Wheeler, on September 19, 1961 in Tahlequah, OK. They were married for over 51 years and were blessed with a beautiful daughter, Kimberly Renee. Ray loved animals and the outdoors. He enjoyed caring for his cattle and many other types of animals on his farm south of Muskogee but truly loved his horses. He was an active and successful owner and trainer of thoroughbred race horses up until the time of his death. Family was especially important to Ray. He loved the large family gatherings at holidays and special occasions. Ray was also active in the rural community south of Muskogee and was an almost daily participant of the Andy's Convenience Store Breakfast Group.

Ray was preceded in death by his parents and his sisters Mattie Panell, Bertie Carter and Geraldine Lamons. Ray is survived by his wife, Elada of the home; his daughter Kimberly Stotts and husband Steve of Muskogee; granddaughters Lauren Stotts of Los Angeles, CA and Sarah Stotts of Norman, OK; sister Bernise Scott and husband Clyde of Tulsa; his brothers-in-law Tom Lamons and Gene Carter and wife Phyllis all of Tahlequah; brother-in-law Mike Wheeler and wife Pat of Broken Arrow, OK; his Sister-in-law Brenda Wheeler of Tahlequah; and many nieces, nephews and other much-loved family members and friends.

Funeral services will be at 11:00 am Monday, March 18 at First Baptist Church in Muskogee with Dr. Lance Sawyer and Bill Crow officiating. Interment will follow at Tahlequah City Cemetery at 2:00 pm with Joe Foster, Pony McCrary, Paul Porter, Glen Wheeler, Mike Ebert and Jim Adams as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers are the "Andy's Convenience Store Breakfast Group".

Funeral services are under the direction of Cornerstone Funeral Home and Crematory, 1830 N. York Street, Muskogee, OK. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.cornerstoneofmuskogee.com.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made on Ray's behalf to the Needy Student Fund, Oklahoma School for the Blind at 3300 Gibson Street, Muskogee, OK 74403 or the Bedouin Shrine Temple Transportation Fund 201 S. 6th Street, Muskogee, OK 74401.