Raymond's Story

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Raymond Earl Ballew, a resident of Tahlequah, died Wednesday morning, May 31, 2017, in Northeastern Health Systems. Services will be held at Cookson United Methodist on Monday, June 5, 2017 at 2 p.m. Interment will be at the Cookson-Proctor Cemetery. Arrangements under the care of Green Country Funeral Home.
Ray was born June 29, 1944, to Billie Ballew and Vivian (Thompson) Ballew. He graduated from Tahlequah High School and was a talented football player. He was blessed with three children, Jason, Jed, and Kristin. Ray was strong willed, determined, an enormous dreamer, loved to build, and an entrepreneur. He wasnt afraid to work. He owned many different businesses including R.E. Ballew Sales and Rentals, a construction company, and Bubbas Country Skillet, a restaurant, all in Tahlequah. His final business venture was Padmore, a pipeline padding machine, he patented with the help of a friend. This business took him to his new home in Denison, Texas where he met many wonderful friends. Ray also found a church family while in Denison, Texas. Virginia Point Church became a vital part of his life and he was proud to introduce them to his family when they visited. When Ray wasnt working he enjoyed hanging out with his children and grandchildren, smoking ribs, playing cards (poker), and visiting with his friends at multiple restaurants.
Nearly three years ago Ray showed his strong will, strength, and determination when he suffered a massive stroke. He came back to Tahlequah where his children would be able to help him with his recovery. He spent a month in NHS acute rehab where his son and daughter-in-law could be close as the wonderful staff taught him how to regain abilities he lost. After a lengthy rehab he moved to an apartment near his daughter and grandchildren. In his final years he enjoyed visits with friends and family, short joyrides around town, trips to Texas (especially with his son Jed), visits from his grandchildren, eating apple fritters, watching the news, sports, and the Big Bang Theory, and he enjoyed having his independence until his final days thanks to his caretakers.
The lord called Ray home on Wednesday, May 31, and he was ready for his new life.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Billie Ballew and Vivian (Thompson) Ballew and brothers, Jack Ballew and Billie Joe Ballew.
He is survived by his son, Jason Ballew and Jennifer Mathis of Sedona, Arizona, son, Jed and Megan Ballew and their children Jackson and Lucy of Bellingham, Washington, daughter, Kristin Wadley and her children, Pierce and Presley of Tahlequah, Oklahoma, grandsons, Adin Ballew and Evan Ballew, sister, Clara Fisher, of Missouri, brother, Jim Ballew, of Wisconsin, sister Brenda Ward and Gary Ward, of California, uncles, aunts, and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. He will be greatly missed by all he left behind.
Published on June 2, 2017
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