Donald “Ray” Currence, a confirmed bachelor, lover of family and pets, master of anything he put his mind to I.e. computer technology, woodworking, photography, traveling and organizational skills of spreadsheets motivated by acute perfectionism that could drive the less tedious crazy and a love for the Smokey Mountains. In short, a simple yet complex man of many talents passed away on Thursday, May 2, 2019 at his home in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, after a short battle with cancer.
In his 87 years of life Ray touched many people. First and foremost, his family, and anyone that crossed his path that was in need of help, never wanting recognition. Always one to do whatever he could to further another’s success.
Ray had a great dry sense of humor that he often graced us with, especially if our antics became “too much”. He was a peacemaker in the family, never one for conflict and truly believed in not saying an unkind thing about anyone, something he would say his sweet Mom taught him.
He was born May 24, 1931 in York, South Carolina. His childhood was pretty normal during that time, but not so much by today’s standards as he and his beloved sister, Bobbie Jean Royster (deceased) tells a story of “swinging out over a gorge in the mountains, on a vine (not a rope) that was hanging off of a tree”. The good Lord was looking out for them!
Ray was a beloved son to the late Neville and Agnes Currence, a cherished brother to Buck Currence (Gloria) and Bobbie Jean Royster, deceased (Claude); he was the greatest of uncles to Skip Royster (Brenda), Amanda Royster-Gillespie (Gary), Sherrie Gershon (Bill Daws) her son, Michael deceased, Brett Currence (Kathy) and their children and Tracy Hires (Mitch) and their children; he was an even “greater” great uncle to Lacey Meredith-Miller (TJ), Sandy Royster (Rali), Jessica Cooper (Ryan) and last but certainly not least in his book, great-great uncle to Braedyn Meredith, Zach Cooper and Claude Royster V and his beloved pets, Dali and Gunner, both deceased.
As for Ray’s adult life he was independent, selfless to a fault and insisted his many accomplishments not be mentioned. So we won’t mention; The Korean War, Purple Heart, Bronze Star with Valor, and many other accommodations. He gave 23 years to Civil Service at Hurlburt Field as a comptroller in data automation. He supported the many endeavors of his nieces and nephews from band and choral concerts, football games, t-ball, baseball, softball and taekwondo, plus all the school skits of every holiday he videoed. Ray had a great compassion for animals and was a supporter of PAWS. As you can tell we are very proud of him and he will forever be in our hearts!
Being who Ray was his last instructions were, “Just a Thought---Keep it Simple” much like he lived his life, therefore; he will be laid to rest next to his parents in a very “simple” ceremony at Beal Memorial Cemetery in Fort Walton Beach, Florida on Saturday, May 18, 2019 at 11:00 am, Dr. Roger Peadro, First Christian Church, Covenant Hospice Chaplain will be officiating. All who knew and loved Ray are invited.
“The Story of Ray” would not be complete without thanking our new friends that were instrumental in making these last few months bearable with a scattering of giggles, smiles and kindness, always putting his dignity first. His #1 angel and “love giver”, Gary Gillespie, his nephew. Our family is forever indebted to you for your unconditional love to Ray and making him laugh even when he didn’t want to. To his Covenant Hospice angels, Lisa Silva, RN and Stephanie Aakre, CNA, we are so thankful that this is not just a career but a “calling” for you two precious ladies. You both were a beacon of light on a stormy sea. Thank You! To our team of caregivers, Laurie Raffield, Kaysyee Haley and Penny Richards, only the Lord could have put together such a fantastic team who gave so much of themselves to ensure not only Ray’s comfort and support, but to all of us as well. Again, Thank You All!
Please join us celebrating Ray’s life after the service at 102 Harris Road NE, Fort Walton Beach, Florida. In lieu of flowers Ray would be honored if you make donations to the Panhandle Animal Welfare Society, (PAWS), 752 Lovejoy Road NW, Fort Walton Beach, Florida 32548, www.paws-shelter.org. Arrangements are under the direction of Davis-Watkins Funeral Home.