Celebrating the life of Ray
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At the age of 15 his father, who was the Superintendent of the Mangum Power Plant, passed away leaving Ray as the head of household. The Power Plant hired Ray at 15, as a diesel assistant, to work so he could help support his brothers and widowed mother. Ray attended Mangum High School where he played football, basketball, and tennis. He played in the Oklahoma State Tennis Tournament his freshman year while wearing white overalls. He played in the first game in the Liberty Bowl when there was no grass growing and heavy rain 2 days prior made it a mud hole. “The referee had to hold the ball down with his foot to keep it from floating down the field.” He graduated in the MHS Class of 1943. He was offered two college scholarships to play football out of state, one in Missouri and the other Pennsylvania. Ray deferred them to join the US Navy and help with the war effort.
While in the Navy, he was in the Pacific Theater where he closely followed General MacArthur’s Island Hopping. The ships he served on dropped off supplies and soldiers using amphibious landing crafts which Ray piloted. He also spent time as an antiaircraft gunner on board merchant marine ships as a member of the “Armed Guard”. One of his most memorable moments was when he witnessed, through binoculars from the ship, the historic raising of the flag on Iwo Jima.
After being honorably discharged from the Navy in December 1945, Ray returned to Greer County where he attended Mangum Junior College, and received an Associate’s Degree in Science. His first job after returning was at M.E. Moses where he met Doris Marie Kyle. They were married in 1948 in Wellington, Texas. In June of 1949, the most beautiful baby in Greer County, McGregor (Mac) Ray Coffman, Jr. was born. Daughter, Jimmie Kay, followed in August 1952 and the family was completed by the addition of little brother, Randall Kyle in July 1965.
Ray worked many jobs in his life. He started at the Mangum Power Plant, sold the first margarine in Greer County, he owned a custom hay bailing operation using a Willis Jeep with a PTO and New Holland bailer bailing many a bail on property surrounding Ft. Sill Army Base, and he owned his own trucking company. The last 30 plus years of his working career was as a diesel mechanic for Jewett Scott Truck lines.
Ray was a Christian and member of the Central Christian Church. He was a member of the following: Mangum Masonic Lodge #61, Shriners and 32nd degree York Rite, Order of the Eastern Star, Paul Garrett American Legion Post 121, Veterans of Foreign War, and the 2014 Mangum Alumni Parade Grand Marshal.
Ray was proceeded in death by his wife Doris; parents Ray & Lillie Coffman; Brother Kenneth and sister-in-law Doris (Sanders) Coffman; brother Scott Coffman; brother-in-law Buck Kyle, sister’s-in-law Carrol Kyle and Martha Kirk, and son-in-law Michael Crouch. He is survived by his brother-in-law, Bert Kirk of Altus, OK; Sister in law, Linda Coffman of Yukon, OK; son Mac Coffman and wife, Leanne of Mangum, OK; daughter, Jimmie Crouch, Anadarko, OK; and son Randall Coffman and wife Tara of Victory, OK. He also leaves behind 13 grandkids, 25 great grandkids, and 2 great-great grandkids, as well as, numerous nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that donation be made in Ray’s name to the Mangum Athletic Dept. (400 North Pennsylvania) or the Mangum Masonic Lodge #61 Temple Theater Building Fund (101 East Jefferson). Services will be held at a later date.
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