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William Ray Holly

William Ray Holly

Memorial services are scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 25, at First Baptist Church for William Ray Holly.

Holly, 55, a lifelong resident of Artesia, passed away last week at his home.

Ray was born Dec. 14, 1960, at Artesia General Hospital to William and Nita Holly. The fifth of five children, his mother often reminded his sisters not to complain about their baby brother since they were responsible. The two had banded together to pray for a baby brother for Christmas because they were worried Mom would be lonely when the younger sister started school the next year. Ray arrived just before Christmas in the midst of a rare Artesia snowstorm.

Ray attended elementary school underground at the historic Abo Elementary School, built and fully stocked as a bomb shelter during the Cold War era. In high school, he enjoyed shop and building furniture but preferred to be away from school playing with his dog, Hans. Ray graduated from Artesia High School in May 1979.

A member of First Baptist Church, Ray was active in the youth group and choirs growing up. He carried a love for music and taught himself to play the guitar. He enjoyed strumming and singing with family when he wasn’t hunting and fishing.

On Sept. 12, 1979, Ray and his friend, Lonnie Easter, enlisted in the U.S. Navy, and Ray reported to basic training July 17, 1979. Following basic, he attended optical school and was eventually stationed in Norfolk, Va., on the USS Yellowstone AD 41. He was honorably discharged Dec. 21, 1984, at the rank of Optical Man 2, OM2.

Ray worked at Navajo Refining Co. for several years following his discharge. He welcomed daughter Melissa Kay Holly into the world June 18, 1988. Following some life changes, Ray worked in the construction industry for several\ years, starting with Enchanted Services in Angel Fire before returning again to Artesia, where he worked with a construction crew in Artesia and Carlsbad.

Ray met his wife, Patty Anderson, during this time, and the couple was married Nov. 4, 2004.

Most recently, Ray worked at Sunedisun with Jim Riggenbach maintaining solar panel farms in Southeast New Mexico.

Survivors include his wife, Patty Holly, of Artesia; daughter Melissa Kay Holly of Carlsbad; mother Nita C. Holly of Artesia; stepchildren Christina M. Jarrell of Albuquerque, Brandon Barrow of Roswell, and Dakota Mares of Artesia; siblings Terrye Rogers and husband Ernie of Goode, Va., Randy Holly and wife Barbara of Cameron, Texas, Don Holly of Wheatridge, Colo., and Nita Jo Bynum and husband Ronnie of Euless, Texas; and nieces and nephews Ryan Rogers and Tana Rogers Jamison, Erin Holly Jackson, Michelle Holly Lampert, Lyle Holly, and Jon Paul and Holly Bynum.

He was preceded in death by his father, William B. Holly.

Arrangements are under the direction of Terpening & Son Mortuary. Condolences may be expressed online at www.artesiafunerals.com.