I just learned of this tragic death a few minutes ago. I extend my deepest sympathies to his family.
I never had the privilege of meeting Ray face to face, but I did correspond with him via PM a couple of times. It was more than obvious from his messages to me that this was a man with integrity, and a man who cared very much for the citizens, especially the children of this county. He seemed to have a heart as big as all outdoors.
One of the things I will remember about him is his statements of faith to me personally. He was completely unapologetically open about his committment to Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. He had made a committment to a Christian athletic organization in Phoenix, AZ, and keeping it meant that he missed the debate. As we discussed the matter, I congratulated him for having the moral fiber and backbone to stick to his committments.
Ray is a person I've thought about several times since, and really wished I could have met him face to face. I know from what he wrote me, that I would have found a friend in him. There was a kindness and gentleness he expressed that was unassuming, and genuinely disarming.
I fear that Paulding County has lost part of its core. Our loss, however, is surely Heaven's gain.