On Saturday, July 4, 2020, Ray Anderson Hamilton, husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather passed away at the age of 81. Ray was born on July 24, 1938 in the Wardwell community to Josiphine Russell Hamilton and Baylas Fletcher Hamilton. Ray graduated from Vardaman High School in 1956 where he had many adventures that led to stories which could have filled several books. He married the love of his life, Juanita, on October 3, 1969. His friends, who are from all ages and backgrounds, are countless, and they will carry their “Little Ray” experiences and stories on for generations to come. His family continues to hear about these mostly hilarious yet sometimes very heartwarming accounts. Ray was like the pied piper of Calhoun City; daily giving candy and dollars to many children. Family was most important to Ray, and he revealed this through his support to those whom he held dear. He never faltered to let his family know how he felt or what he thought about an issue. Those who knew Ray, know his hobbies were his life. Making people laugh was one of them, and he did this so often and so very well. He was also a man who loved his dogs, and they in turn loved him. This love eventually led Ray to the training of bird dogs through which he made more lifelong friends across many states. Ray also loved to garden with his favorites being tomatoes, okra, and peppers, and he was successful with any plant he placed in the dirt.
Ray leaves behind his wife of 50 years, Juanita, and their son, Jeffery Lee Shankle (Patricia.) He also leaves his four grandchildren who loved their “Pop” very much: Brandon Lee Shankle (Clare,) Courtney Rae Purvis (Justin,) Madison Ray Bennett, and McKenzie Ray Mooney (Wesley.) Pop’s eight, beloved great-grandchildren are Hadden, Lois, Holden, Louisa, Letty, William Ray, Callie, and Spencer Rae. Ray was preceded in death by his parents and his brothers James and Jake. He leaves a sister, Nancy Vaughn of New Hope, MS, and two brothers, Kenny (Kathy) Hamilton of Vardaman and Jerrol (Bobbie) Hamilton of Coffeeville. Many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, and cousins are among those who Ray also leaves behind. His family will miss him tremendously, but they know they will see him again in heaven. As a young boy, Ray walked the aisle to accept Jesus as his personal Savior at a revival in New Providence Church. He also revealed to those closest to him about his belief in Jesus and how he knew that he died for him. The love Ray, Pop, showed to others was a true example of God’s love. Please continue to keep the family in your thoughts and prayers.
Visitation for “Little Ray” will be held on Tuesday, July 7, 2020, from 12:00pm until 2:00pm at Pryor Funeral Home in Calhoun City.
Funeral service will also be held on Tuesday, July 7 at 2:00pm at the funeral home.
Burial will follow at New Providence Cemetery in Derma.
Serving as pallbearers will be Stan Rogers, Bryson Rogers, J.R. Denton, Mark Lucius, Mike Lucius, and Terry Martin. Honorary Pallbearers will be all of his round table friends and bird dog buddies.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, or the charity of your choice. Expressions of sympathy may be left for the family at pryorfuneralhome.com
Pryor Funeral Home takes the health of our staff, our families, our visitors, and our community very seriously, and we are adhering to guidelines set forth by President Trump and Gov. Tate Reeves. At this time, we are asking everyone to support the limited gathering and visitation policy set by our government officials. We will be allowing small family groups and limiting the number of people in family rooms to 10 at one time at visitations, as well as funerals at the funeral home. For graveside services, we will be asking everyone to also comply with the required social distancing space of six feet. We’re also advising against hand-shaking, hugging, kissing and other intimate contact, and encourage the use of face masks.