Ray was born July 6, 1918, in Cheney, to Rollo and Estelle (Calkins) Parsons. At a very early age, he went to live with his grandparents, Emma and William Calkins, who raised him. Ray was the oldest of nine children.
He was raised and educated in Cheney and graduated from Cheney High School in 1936. He attended Wichita State University in 1936-37, Wichita Business College in 1937-38, University of Utah in 1942-43 and Southwestern College in 1946. He graduated from the the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry in 1950.
Ray was drafted Dec. 1, 1941, and served as a weather officer at several U.S. bases during World War II.
He married E. Jean Youle on Dec. 31, 1942, in Salt Lake City, Utah. They lived at various bases, including Lackland AFB, Texas, Burtonwood AFB, England, and Andrews AFB, Md., before Ray resigned his commission as major in 1954 to enter private dental practice in Winfield.
Jean preceded him in death on Aug. 25, 1984.
Ray married Lola (Tallant) Schowalter on April 16, 1988, and they lived in Wichita.
Ray started his solo general dental practice in Winfield on Aug 9, 1954. His son, David, joined the practice in 1983. Ray retired from active practice Jan. 1, 1991.
Ray was active in organized dentistry, serving as treasurer, vice president and president of the Kansas Dental Association. He was an ADA delegate1974-85. He was named the Kansas Dental Association Man of the Year in 1986. He received Fellowship in the American College of Dentists in 1977 and Fellowship in the International College in 1983. Ray had been a member of the Academy of General Dentistry since 1974, was a member of the Pierre Franchard Academy, was a member Psi Omega Fraternity and was a UMKC School of Dentistry Alumuni Association Trustee 1990-95. He served on the dental staff of Wiliam Newton Hospital for 36 years.
Ray was a USD 465 Board of Education member for four years, serving as president in 1962-63. He was Rotary Club president in 1969-70, had 51 years of perfect attendance and was a Paul Harris Fellow. He was past president of the Quarterback Club, past president of Winfield Country Club and past Chamber of Commerce board member.
He held membership in Masons, Shriners and Elks, was a life member of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He was past chairman of the administrative board of the First United Methodist Church in Winfield and past chairman of the Parish Relations Committee. He was a member of the East Heights United Methodist Church.
His hobbies were golf, bridge and travel, and he was an avid sports fan.
In addition to his parents, grandparents and first wife, Jean, Ray was preceded in death by a daughter, Sharon Kraus; brother, Veral; and sisters, Dorothea Collumber and Joanne Compton.
Surivors include his wife, Lola Parsons, Wichita; daughter, Patty Martin, and husband Ronnie, and sons, Bob Parsons and David Parsons, and wife, Karen, all of Winfield; brothers, Wayne, Pratt and Galen, Wichita, and Richard, Hays; sisters, Myraline Slusser, Chamois, Mo., and Almira Zimmerman, Oklahoma City; eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.