Jimmie Ray Priest, 79, of Lubbock, passed away on Monday, October 3, 2016. He was born in Santa Anna, TX to Emma Oleta and Weldon Elmo Priest on January 12, 1937. He attended Olton High School, where he played in the band and on the football team. He was later inducted into the Olton Football Hall of Fame. After graduating from Olton High School in 1955, Jimmie attended Eastern New Mexico University, where he majored in music, earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1959. He continued studying music and in 1965 he received a Master of Arts Degree from West Texas State University. While at school, Jimmie met the love of his life, Betty, and they were married on September 8, 1958. They were married for 58 years. Music was his life. He enjoyed performing and conducting equally.
Jimmie was a band director for 33 years and taught throughout the West Texas and New Mexico area. He had many performances, but some of his favorites were with the Amarillo Symphony Orchestra, the annual New Mexico Governor’s Ball, and the Lubbock West Winds. Throughout his life, Jimmie was active in church. He was a Deacon, song leader, and teacher. He showed by his example how to love and be a follower of Jesus. He was a member of Monterey Church of Christ. Jimmie was an avid woodworker and enjoyed painting houses. He loved to read and was never without his crossword puzzle. His greatest joy was spending time with his family, including attending his grandchildren’s many activities, playing Legos or games, and showing them how to play his baritone.
Jimmie was preceded in death by his parents, Oleta and Weldon, and his brother, Larry Glen. He is survived by his wife, Betty; his son, Mark, and wife, Judy, of Doha, Qatar; his son, Michael, and former wife, Melissa, of Lubbock; his brother, Robert, and wife, Nancy, of Abernathy, TX; his brother, Joe, and wife, Susan, of Stephenville, TX; his five granddaughters, Montana, Jayden, Corbin, Hailey, and Ella; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. He will be missed dearly and loved always.