Collie Etheridge Ray III
Collie Etheridge Ray III
  • April 13, 1946 - May 17, 2017
  • Alabama

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Collie "Reggie" Etheridge Ray III, 71, went home to Jesus on Wednesday, May 17th, 2017 in the comfort of his own home with his gentle and amazing wife by his side.
He leaves behind his wife of 50 years, Karon Davis "Micki" Ray; his son, Patrick (Monica) Ray; his daughter, Melissa (Michael) May; his brother, Edwin (Nathalie) Ray; three grandchildren Bogdan May, Yulia May, and Devyn Ray; one great grandchild, Karolina Voloshchuk; mother in law Billie Dean Davis; brother in law William "Butch" Davis (Brenda), extended family, countless friends and his devoted border collie, Scottie.

Born on April 13th, 1946 the firstborn son of Collie Etheridge Ray Jr and Delma (Goodwin) Ray, Reggie, as he prefered to be called, lived a life full of amazing adventures. He took many trips to places like Mexico, Aruba, Bonaire, Costa Rica, Panama, Canada, Japan, France and Ukraine but his favorite place was the family farm. Reggie graduated from Auburn University in 1969 with a degree in Pharmacy and would go on to spend the majority of his work career with Merck & Company as a District Manager and licensed Pharmacist. He always displayed integrity and strong work ethic through leading by example. Even while maintaining a busy work schedule he found time to mentor many young men and women in the youth group at his family's church. He also shared these attributes and many more through his hard training under Saiko Shihan Y. Oyama through The World Oyama Karate Organization in which he obtained the rank of Shodan and once even ranked 79th in the world.

Reggie was a seasoned storyteller. He knew almost everything that there is to know and he had an uncanny ability to draw his listeners in. From history to comedy, he could unfold a story in a memorable way. He was a man with impeccable timing, often leaving the house just for a bit for one or two things only to come back several hours later because he had run into one of many people that always felt blessed by his presence. He truly was the most interesting man in the world. In his later years he loved spending time with his family. He also enjoyed being a student of history as well as the great outdoors. Reggie loved boating off the coast of Mexico Beach, Florida as well as fly-fishing in Alaska, hunting and recreational shooting. He was also a wise man, always getting his news from trusted sources like Lake Wobegon. He also had a wide range and fine taste for music ranging from Enya to The Eagles. He inspired several hospice musical therapists to learn some songs from the Rolling Stones.

Reggie was and is loved and will be missed until we are all reunited together in the presence of our creator's full glory. "but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint". - Isaiah 40:31

A memorial service will be held at Southern Heritage Funeral Home in Pelham at 2pm, Thursday, June 1 with visitation from noon until time of service. In lieu of flowers please consider donations in memory of Reggie to one of the following:

Harrison School of Pharmacy at Auburn University
Servant Life or Grace to Ukraine