Rayford married his sweetheart and best friend, Madeline on January 4, 1941. Following his service to his country in the Army during WWII, they moved to Abilene. He valued education and while working full time and being full time father to their two children, he graduated from McMurry College.
Rayford loved his church, First Baptist of Abilene, where he taught children's Sunday School and served as a deacon for many years. After retirement from American Petrofina Corp where he worked for twenty five years as an office manager, he and Madeline enjoyed many years of traveling in their RV. They made numerous friends in the Rio Grande Valley and the mountains of New Mexico where they loved to RV.
He is survived by his wife Madeline of sixty nine years, a daughter, Jo and husband Oran Rake, and a son, Pete and wife Glenda of Austin. "Granddad" enjoyed and was loved by his five grandchildren, Greg, Molly and Joel Rake of Abilene and Rebecca and Ryan Baldwin of Austin. Ethan Rake, his great grandson of Abilene, shared a special place in his heart. His three brothers and one sister preceded him in death. One sister, Marguerite McDonald, of Tennessee, survives him.
Graveside services will be at 10:00 am Monday, March 8, at the Elliott-Hamil Garden of Memories Cemetery followed by a memorial service at 11:00 am in the chapel at First Baptist Church. Services are under the direction of The Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road. Dr. Phil Christopher, pastor, First Baptist Church, will conduct the services assisted by Rayford's grandson, Greg Rake. Pallbearers will be Merlin Morrow, Riley Cross, Leslie Ellis, Burton Sutterfield, Herman Treadwell and John Hodgson. Honorary pallbearers will be the Men's Bible Class of Adult I at First Baptist Church.
Special thanks are extended to Marsha Alexander, Shannon McCree, Dr. Allen Schultz and his staff who provided such kind and loving care for the past two years. The family also extends their sincere thanks to Hendrick Hospice Care.
Memorials may be made to the City Lights Ministries in care of First Baptist Church, 1333 North 3rd Street, Abilene, Texas 79601; or to Christian Community Development Corporation (Our House) P.O. Box 2282, Abilene, Texas 79604.