William “Joe” Ray of Round Rock, TX passed away on February 3, 2018 at the age of 68. He was born on August 10, 1949 to William John Ray and Verma Evelyn Robinson in Oklahoma City.

Joe attended Oklahoma University but graduated with bachelor’s and master’s degree in music from the University of Central Oklahoma. He joined the U.S. Army 145th National Guard Band, where he served for seven years. Joe met Mary Levan in college when she marched his spot during halftime shows. They were married on July 18, 1972. Joe began teaching instrumental music that fall in the Putnam City School District. He taught concert bands, marching bands and jazz bands for the next seventeen years. He had many award-winning bands including performing State Honor Bands, International Jazz Bands and many superior bands.

In 1989 Joe took his wife and three children and crossed the border to Texas. He taught twenty years in Texas including: Lubbock ISD, Crockett ISD, LaVega ISD (Waco), C.E. King ISD (Houston), and Rockdale ISD. He retired and moved his wife to Round Rock to be a roadman for Hillje Music Company. After five years Joe retired to the golf course, traveling vacations and helping the Historian for the Singing Women of Central Texas.

Joe Ray is survived by: Mary Ray, his loving wife; Children and Grandchildren: Robyn Lynne Stokes and Robert John Stokes of Katy, Bryan Joseph Ray, Heather Ann Ray, Hunter Nicholas Ray, Brayden Christian Ray, Axle Joseph Ray and Jonathan Scott Ray of Round Rock; Sister-in-law Lenita Bourland, Moore OK; The Heiligers and Walkers of Oklahoma; Many band directors, band students and friends.

Pallbearers were: Bill Butler, Scott Cole, Bryan Ray, Scott Ray, Dee Spencer, Calvin Zwernemann
Honorary Pallbearers were: Robert John Stokes, Hunter Nicholas Ray, Brayden Christian Ray, Axel Joseph Ray

Memorials/Donations may be designated to: 
Singing Women of Central Texas
First Baptist Church of Round Rock


On Thursday, February 8, 2018, a visitation was held from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. with a funeral service at First Baptist Church, Round Rock.

A graveside service was held at 2:00 p.m. at Hutto Cemetery, Hutto, TX.