There was only one Ray G. Kelley of Carson City, Nevada. With his daughter, Kelli and his son-in-law, Sonny by his side, Ray passed from Earth on August 27, 2012. He well used his 81 years here.
Some knew Ray as" Chief "in recognition of the 22 years he spent serving in our country's Navy or for the 15 years he devoted to teaching Carson High NJROTC students. Whether you knew Ray or the Chief, you knew he was one of a kind. Ray always said he never met a stranger.
Ray was born to Annie Kelley in Walhalla, South Carolina on May 26, 1931. While he left home at age 19 to join the Navy; Carolina never left him. The many stories about the South he brought back to Nevada were priceless.
As a sailor Ray served aboard the USS Henrico, USS Halsey Powell, USS Twining, and the USS Constellation. His service took him to the Naval Air Station in Beeville, Texas where he married Benita Stockham of Ely, Nevada, in 1960. He was bold and sociable. She was steady and reserved. Together they were golden and enjoyed 28 years of marriage. Their daughter Kelli and her husband, Sonny Newman, raised Ray's grandchildren, Garrett and Gabrielle, who will treasure the many great times with their Papa.
Ray took off his NJROTC uniform in 1987 and enjoyed retirement for only a year when he lost his sweet Benita in 1988. During the next chapter of life you could find him holding court downtown or on the golf course surrounded by his many friends.
Ray, borrowing from the Navy's song, Anchor's Aweigh, we say:
O'er our last night ashore
Drink to the foam
Until we meet once more
Here's wishing you a happy voyage home!
Ray is survived by his only child, Kelli Newman, son-in-law, Sonny Newman and his two treasured grandchildren, Garrett Lee Newman and Gabrielle Rae Newman.
The Chief will be laid to rest on Friday, September 7th at 11:00 a.m. at Walton's Funeral Home
in Carson City, Nevada.