George Rayford (Ray) Bland, 82 of Crane, died peacefully in his sleep at home on Wednesday, July 22, 2020. Ray was blessed with good health, and it continued right up to his passing.
Ray was born as George Rayford Bland on April 13, 1938, in Oxford, MS, to Fred and Clister Jo Bland. After high school, he moved to Andrews, TX. From there, Ray served briefly in the US Army. He returned to Monahans, TX and began his career with Texas Electric. He moved to Crane in 1963 with the Electric Company, where he worked until he retired with 36 years of service.
Ray was an active resident of Crane and was a jack of all trades. He spent time working atop countless telephone poles, served on the Crane Volunteer Fire Department, worked as a jailer, a carpenter, a cook, a ranch hand, and was a proud member of the breakfast club and Masonic Lodge. Ray was well known for his story-telling and insightful expressions.
Ray was preceded in death by his father Fred, his mom, Clister Jo, and his first wife, Evelyn. He is survived by his wife Grace, his son Jim Jones and his wife Kay, his sister Bettie Mann and her husband Archie, grandchildren Alison Hernandez and her husband Marc, Austin Jones and his wife Morgan, nephews Richard Mann and his wife Gretchen, and Kevin Mann along with three great-grandchildren.
A graveside service will be held on Saturday, July 25, 2020, at 10 a.m. at the Crane County Cemetery with Pastor David Evans officiating. Arrangements are under the care of Shaffer-Nichols Funeral Home.
The family welcomes donations to First Baptist Church of Crane as an expression of sympathy in place of flowers.