He was born on a farm near Dexter, NM to Thomas Randolph Tice and Nina Sherrod Williams Tice on August 18, 1927. In 1938 the Tice Family moved to Artesia, NM where Ray attended Artesia High School excelling in football and basketball. Like his brothers before him, Ray wanted to do his share for our country by serving in the US Military during WWII. He put his formal school education on hold after completing the 10th grade to join the Navy as a member of the Third US Naval Corps serving with a Seabee construction battalion from February 1945 through April 1946 on Okinawa.
After completing his military service, Ray returned to Artesia and worked for the U. S. Geological Survey until July 1946; then as a self-employed dirt hauler. In July 1947, he joined New Mexico Asphalt and Refining Company as a laborer thus beginning a career in refining that spanned 43 years with Malco, Continental Oil Company, Artesia Refinery and the current Navajo Refining Company. Ray obtained his GED during these changes of ownership and became the refinery’s Mechanical Superintendent in May 1973 and held that position until he retired in September 1989.
After retiring, he was elected to the New Mexico State Senate, District 33 where he served from 1989 until 1992 and again retired.
Ray was involved in many civic and volunteer organizations in Artesia: Artesia Sertoma Club, Parents and Boosters Club, Elks Lodge, Artesia Squares, Artesia Arts Council, County/City Planning and Zoning Board, North Eddy County Crime Stoppers, NM Alliance for the Mentally Ill, Pee Wee through Babe Ruth city baseball leagues; in Ingram area: Volunteer at Dietert Senior Center and the VA Hospital in Kerrville, TX, Hunt School, Hunt, TX and Precinct Chairman of the Democratic Party in Hunt, TX for many years. Ray attended the Hunt United Methodist Church in Hunt, TX.
After the passing of his first wife, Mary, he married Nan McKean Taylor in San Antonio, TX; she preceded him in death September 20, 2013. Ray was also preceded in death by his parents, 7 sisters, 6 brothers, 3 sons, 2 daughters and a grandson.
Ray is survived by daughters, Karen Derr of Artesia, NM, Beth Taylor of Bastrop, TX, Kay Taylor of Gallup, NM, Lisa Weinstein and spouse Dean of Hunt, TX, one son, Ronnie Tice and spouse Denise of Artesia, NM as well as numerous nieces and nephews and was blessed with many grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren that he enjoyed spending time with.
The family would like to express their heartfelt thanks to the caregivers that helped us with such loving care and devotion: Connie Gilbert, Sherry Moore and Isabel Yanez and to the staff of Peterson Hospice.
A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday, May 17th at 11 am at Hunt United Methodist Church with lunch to follow at the church.
Ray was a firm believer in “Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, he will eat for a lifetime” and his favorite charity was Heifer International, PO Box 6021, Albert Lea, MN, 56007-9831, an organization dedicated to teach the impoverished around the world how to provide for themselves by providing the tools to eat better, live better, educate their children and how to share their skills with others. In lieu of flowers, please donate to this charity or a charity of your choice.
The family invites you to send condolences at www.grimesfuneralchapels.com by selecting the “Send Condolences” link.
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Grimes Funeral Chapels of Kerrville, TX.