Rank / Branch:
PFC, U.S. Army
FIRST CAVALRY DIVISI
Date of Birth:
HOSTILE, EXPLOSIVE D
Awards & Decorations:
See Alphabetical list
list by County
RUFUS RAY, PRIVATE FIRST CLASS, U. S. ARMY, ODESSA, ECTOR COUNTY, TEXAS
AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Purple Heart, Army Commendation’s Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal
Rufus Ray was born in Brenham, Texas to Ira Lee Flowers Ray and Dennis Ray. He had an older brother, Floyd Penny by his mother’s previous marriage and a younger sister, Emma Dennis Ray born in 1943. His father was killed in a jeep accident at Fort Polk, Louisiana while serving in the U.S. Army about a week after his sister was born. Rufus attended elementary and junior high school in Brenham, Texas. The family moved to Jacksboro, Texas where Rufus attended and graduated from Jacksboro Blackshear High School in 1960.
Older Brother, Floyd and Rufus-1951
The family relocated to Odessa and Rufus married Francis Hardeman in 1962. This marriage produced three children, Regina, Kenneth Lee and Edward Lee Ray. Rufus worked at Broncho Chevrolet and Sewell Ford. He and his wife separated and although he was a sole surviving son of his father, he volunteered for the draft in November 1966. He completed basic training and infantry AIT at Fort Polk, Louisiana, ironically the place where his dad had died in 1943.
He began his tour in Vietnam on May 9, 1967 and was assigned as a mortar man with C Company, 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, First Cavalry Division. He and two other troopers were killed by a booby trap on June 9, 1967, one month after arriving in country. He was buried with full military honors in Section 9, Oakwood Cemetery, in Jacksboro, Texas. His older brother Floyd Penny was serving in Vietnam at the time and came home as a body escort for his brother.
Oakwood Cemetery, Jacksboro, Texas
He was survived by his brother, Floyd Penny; his sister, Emma Dennis Moorer of Odessa; his mother, Ira Lee Satchel of Odessa; his wife Francis, and his three children. His older brother, Floyd passed away in 1990, his sister Emma continues to live in Odessa. His mother passed away in Odessa in 2002 where she had lived for 42 years. His wife, Francis now lives in Fort Worth, Texas. His daughter Regina lives in Fort Worth and has not married. His sons Kenneth Lee Ray lives in Fort Worth and has three children. His youngest Edward Lee lives in Jacksboro, Texas and has two children.