November 19, 1933 - February 25, 2019
Ray Relf was born in Temple, Texas on November 19, 1933, to Lydia and Elmo Ray Relf. He has one sister, Reba Barreda, who affectionately calls him “Boots.” He graduated from Temple High School and in his teen life, he worked at a cattle ranch in the summers where he grew to love the cowboy way and a love for all animals, especially horses. He joined the Air Force at a young age in 1950 until 1953 where he served in San Antonio, Japan, and Hawaii. He retrieved and delivered classified information for the Pentagon and was awarded good conduct and the Korean Service medal.
He met Bobby Sue Cook and they married at a young age with the blessing of Ray’s commanding officer with and touching letter to his mother. Bobby gave birth to a son, Edward (Eddie) Relf, who preceded Ray in death in 2015. They also adopted a son, Alan Relf, who was by Ray’s side and cared for him until his death.
After his time in the Air Force he worked as a postman until he was injured and retired.
Ray later married Betty Faye Edge and was a step-father to her son, Keith Tidwell. Betty passed away in January 2000.
Ray was an adventurer, a risk taker, and a hard worker. He loved to travel and took the family on many vacation adventures. It started with a van he converted into a living space of sorts and then on to a love for RV’s. When Ray set his mind to something, he always managed to find a way. He sold seafood on the coast where he found love for boating and fishing, Ray owned several boats and RV’s in his lifetime and passed the enjoyment and adventure to his family.
Ray loved the old country music and 50’s music, dancing, traveling, camping, horses, boating, fishing, and motorcycles. He loved farm auctions, and the haggling of buying, selling and trading. He would sit and people watch and could strike up a conversation with anyone.
He loved animals and had a special place in his heart for his horse, Cherokee Wampum, and his dogs, Charlie and Dino. He loved the outdoors. He liked hanging with the guys around the fire pit at the deer lease, camping in the RV, and he would sit outside and soak up some sun every day.
Ray bought a motorcycle in his late 60’s and began riding. He went on rides with his son and friends and even attended a bike rally once.
Ray owned a business as a contractor called Relf-Co. If you worked for Ray, you knew he was a stern taskmaster. You learned quick or you were gone. He gave young men the opportunity to work and many were with him for years.
He was a stern father, but a loving father in his own way. He took Alan’s friends in high school as if they were his own. He shared everything he had when he had it. He could make a million dollars a year and spend every bit of it, but what a great time was had by all when the spending was good. His motto was, “it’s only money.”
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Arrangements are under the direction of:
Aria Cremation Service & Funeral Home
1820 N. Belt Line Road
Irving, Texas 75061
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