Wise County Messenger

Ray Davis Shipley



Ray Davis Shipley, 77, of Abilene, passed away June 6, 2022, at Hendrick Hospice Care.

Ray was born Aug. 23, 1944, to Ogle Davis Shipley and Wanda Claborn Shipley in Decatur. After graduating from Alvord High School in 1962, he went to work at a dairy farm. Ray served in the United States Army from 1964 to 1966, during which time he met the redhead woman who would become his wife in 1966, Tonnie Joyce Shipley. Ray and Tonnie were married for 56 years and had three beautiful redhead girls together, Jodine, Rachel and Samantha.

Ray was a force of nature, determined to provide for his family and give them the life he felt they deserved. His family meant more to him than anything else in the world, something he often mentioned. He was unendingly proud of his daughters and always tried his best to support them. Ray always strived to teach his daughters the power of a person’s word and doing business on a handshake. When teaching what he felt to be proper handshake form, he would always say, “Now look them in the eye and squeeze hard. That’s how they know you’re serious.”

You could always pick Ray out of a crowd as he was frequently dressed in starched Wranglers and a cowboy hat. He was a real-life cowboy. His history of working on a farm drove him to build and maintain an extremely strong work ethic, something he worked very hard to instill in his children. From teaching them to show lambs when they were young to showing them how to clear land with their hands to build the family home, Ray was always a good role model for teaching a sometimes overly ambitious work ethic. There were times in Ray’s life that he worked for others (i.e., selling cars for more than 30 years) and there were times that he worked for himself (i.e, owned his own business for more than 10 years), but the point is that he always worked hard. Even in his free time, Ray liked working and often made things with his hands, such as furniture pieces and tools to use on his ranch.

Ray was an avid sports fan and loved watching the Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Cowboys on television. He was also his son-in-law’s number one fan at all the high school basketball games he coached. He also loved watching his grandson, Kameron, play select soccer and basketball. Upon his retirement, Ray moved to Abilene with his wife and daughter, Jodine, to join his other daughter, Samantha, and her family.

Ray was preceded in death by his father, Ogle Davis Shipley (KIA 1945); mother, Wanda Claborn Shipley (1960); daughter, Rachel Dee Ince (2017); and son-in-law, Chris Dee Ince (2021).

Ray is survived by his wife, Tonnie Shipley, of Abilene; daughter, Jodine Shipley, of Abilene; daughter and son-in -law, Samantha and Kevin Brooks, of Abilene; grandson, Kameron, of Abilene; granddaughter and family, Cortney Ince and Christian Blaylock, of Bowie; and great-granddaughter, Thea, of Bowie.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that remembrances be made in the form of contributions to Hendrick Hospice Care in Ray’s honor.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.