Raymond Thomas McElhaney - spry2

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Raymond Thomas McElhaney, 85 of Athens entered his heavenly home on Sunday, January 30th 2022.

He will be greatly missed and will be fondly remembered because of his devotion to his family and his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Ray was born to the late John and Cora McElhaney in Bratt, Florida on January 24, 1937. He grew up in Bratt and Cantonment, Florida, and joined the United States Air Force following high school. He married his best friend and the love of his life, Clara Mae Morris on January 31, 1958. She faithfully supported and worked alongside him for 64 years. They were blessed with three daughters, whom he taught how to fix almost anything, the importance of family, but most importantly, to love the Lord and trust Him in all things. He surrendered to the call to serve the Lord and began his life of service in 1955 at the age of 18. Ray was a bi-vocational Pastor of 3 congregations. Farm Hill Baptist Church, Cantonment, Florida. Old Town Creek Baptist Church, Town Creek, Alabama, and First Baptist Church Tanner, Tanner, Alabama. He became a full time Pastor in 1992 when he retired after 31 years with Chemstrand / Monsanto Company, where he served as the area personnel representative. He served 37 years at Tanner. Bro. Ray loved his congregation and was so proud to tell anyone that First Baptist Tanner was his family. He never hesitated to connect with a stranger or share the word of God. After leaving Tanner, he and Clara joined First Baptist Church of Athens, Alabama, where he enjoyed teaching Sunday school and serving as a Deacon. One of his proudest moments in his ministry was in 1994, when he was invited to be the first bi-vocational Pastor to deliver the convention message for the Alabama Baptist State Convention. Ray enjoyed experiencing God's beautiful creation by being outdoors. He loved hunting, working in his yard or garden, watching and feeding "his" birds, relaxing in his swing, but was most passionate in his love of fishing. His enjoyment of this sport was shared by his daughter Cindy and his Grandson Elliott. The rest of the family enjoyed the bounty of his countless hours on the river or hearing detailed accounts of his fish tales, especially of the "one that got away".

Ray was preceded in death by his parents, John R. and Cora McElhaney.

He is survived by his wife Clara. daughters, Cindy Ennis (Randall), Kim Malone (Joey), and Karla Swanner (Mike). Grandchildren, Mike Anderson, Elliott Malone, Mollie Feigley (Eric), Mahaley Swanner, Heather Ennis, and Nicole Jackson (Doug). Great Grandchildren, Amelia Feigley (Little Bit), Gage Hammon, Brindley Edney, Kyleigh Gleason, Bella and Tipton Jackson. He is also survived by his Sister, Evelyn Clark of Ocean Springs, Mississippi, and his Brother, Johnny McElhaney of Cantonment, Florida.

Funeral arrangements will be directed by Spry Funeral Home in Athens, Alabama.

Visitation will be Wednesday, February 2 at the funeral home from 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm, with the service following. Keith Turberville and Joel Carwile will be officiating.

In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully request memorial donations be made to the First Baptist Church Tanner's children ministry or the mission fund at First Baptist Church, Athens, Alabama.

The family wishes to thank Hospice of Limestone County and his caregiver LaDonna Hagood for their loving assistance during his final days.

Pallbearers will be Joey Malone, Mike Swanner, Randall Ennis, Mike Anderson, Elliott Malone, Johnny McElhaney, Eric Feigley, and Joey Garrett.

Sign guestbook below.

1 comment

Karen Martin-Wootten
2022-02-01 13:18:07
Rest in peace, Bro. Ray❣️
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