Cover photo for Gary Dean Ray's Obituary
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1952 Gary 2024

Gary Dean Ray

June 2, 1952 — June 29, 2024

CARBONDALE - Gary Dean Ray, 72, a devoted husband, loving father and grandfather, and a proud Navy veteran, passed away on Saturday, June 29, 2024 at his home in Carbondale surrounded by his loving family.

Gary was born on June 2, 1952, in Richland Center, WI to Roland and Eileen (Johnson) Ray. He married Julie Anderson on April 1, 1973 in Great Lakes, IL.

Gary served in the U.S. Navy as a medic from August of 1971 until he retired in July of 1992. He then attended SIU where he obtained his Mortuary of Science Degree and then later his Bachelor's Degree in Healthcare Management. Gary went on to work for the Department of Public Safety at SIU as a Parking Agent for 21 years. Throughout his life, Gary touched the hearts of many with his kind and selfless nature. As a Parking Agent for SIUC, Gary's dedication and hard work were admired by all. He was also a member of the VFW Post# 7190 and the SIU Police Union.

Gary's memory will be cherished by his beloved wife of 51 years, Julie Ray; children, Dean (Rose) Ray of Orlando, FL, Sheila Ray of Carbondale, and Melissa (David) Molina of De Soto; three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren; siblings, Sue (Mike) Vahn of Janesville, WI, Vicki (Dennis) Boschma of Rockton, Dan (Bonnie) Ray, and Kathy (John) Hoser of Waukesha, WI.

He was preceded in death by his parents, infant children Robert James and Jane Marie Ray, and son-in-law Jason Hagler.

A Celebration of Gary's Life will be held on Saturday, July 20, 2024, at 1:30 PM at Meredith Funeral Home in Carbondale with full military honors. Visitation will be held Saturday from 12:00 PM until the time of service at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that memorial donations be made to the Gary Sinise Foundation, a cause close to Gary's heart. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.

Meredith Funeral Home in Carbondale is in charge of arrangements. To leave a story of memory of Gary, visit

To order memorial trees in memory of Gary Dean Ray, please visit our tree store.

Service Schedule

Upcoming Services


Saturday, July 20, 2024

12:00 - 1:30 pm (Central time)

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Celebration of Life

Saturday, July 20, 2024

Starts at 1:30 pm (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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