Jo Ann Williams Ray passed away suddenly on Saturday, June 10, 2017 in Sun City West, Arizona.
She is survived by her husband, Wesley Ray of Sun City West, her parents Joseph Williams and Elaine Condos Williams of Cheyenne, Wyoming, a sister Kathy and Michael Meyers of Cheyenne, Wyoming, a brother Dale and Julie Williams of Green River, Wyoming, six children – a son Gary and Jenna Ray of West Jordan, Utah, a son Michael and Tanya Ray of Tooele, Utah, a Daughter Sharon and Steve Bangerter of Klein, Texas, a son David and Stacy Ray of Peoria, Arizona, a daughter Amanda and Clinton Andrus of Tolleson, Arizona, and a son Brandon and Kourtney Ray of Misawa, Japan. She is also survived by 23 grandchildren as well as many nieces and nephews.
She was born on October 29, 1947 in Evanston, Wyoming in her paternal grandparent’s home. She often spoke of her participation in 4H and the experiences with sewing, cooking, gardening, horsemanship, etc. that prepared her for her adult life. She graduated from Evanston High School, then attended the University of Wyoming on a Union Pacific Railroad scholarship that resulted from her years of work and success in 4H. There she met and eleven months later married her husband Wesley in August of 1966. She retired in 2012 after 14 years as a school photographer for Lifetouch School Photography having received local and national awards for her school photography. One of her greatest satisfactions was having a mother of a special-needs child tell her that she had never before had a great school picture of her daughter. With her husband, they moved to Sun City West, Arizona in 2015.
She is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints where she served in many positions in the Primary, Young Women and Relief Society organizations. One of her favorite opportunities to serve was as Assistant Scoutmaster for the 11 year old Boy Scouts where she served for 20 years. She was proud about successfully completing Woodbadge Boy Scout Leader Training and receiving her “beads”. She was a lover of nature who enjoyed teaching children to love and care for the world. She raised all of her children to have a love for the outdoors and camping. Among her favorite hobbies were needlework and sewing. She always had some project going, either making quilts and blankets for her kids and grandkids, or making loom hats and balls. She also tatted many handkerchiefs and did needlepoint. While living in Texas she used her talents to help in many humanitarian efforts and in more recent years, she found a love of Genealogy and Family History work and serving in the Temple with her husband.
Graveside services for Jo Ann Williams Ray will be held at Greenhill Cemetery in Laramie at 11:30 AM Monday, July 3, 2017. She passed away June 10th in Sun City West, AZ.
Wes, I am so sorry for your loss. Barbara Farm er (Shake).
Please accept my sincere condolences of Jo Ann's passing. As neighbors, we attended church and school together, played out westerns, and bottle fed lambs her family raised. We were able to spend some time reminiscing about our childhood at our 50th class reunion in 2015. She was enjoyable to be with and a good friend. May she rest in peace.