A Memorial Service for Ray Knox will be held Saturday, April 11, 2009, at 11:00am at the Blanco United Methodist Church. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Gem of the Hills, All Faiths Medical Mission (both in Blanco, Texas) or the charity of your choice.
Born Raymond Sullivan Knox on September 7, 1922, in Temple, Oklahoma, Ray grew up on a dairy farm outside of Temple. His family moved to Norman, Oklahoma where Ray attended both high school and college. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering.
Ray entered the U.S. Marine Corp. and received a commission as a Second Lieutenant. He was trained as a naval aviator and served his country in both World War II and the Korean War. He received his aircraft qualification on the U.S.S. Lexington. During his service, Ray flew 90 combat missions and was awarded four Air Medals before being released from active duty as Captain USMCR.
Ray met Edythe while they were both stationed in San Diego, California. She was a Wave stationed at Coronado and he was an Oklahoma boy looking for someone from back home when he called her barracks. She was not the girl he was looking for but she was the girl he traveled the rest of his life with. They married in 1946 in Oklahoma City. Work took Ray to Tennessee and brought his family to Texas. Ray and Edythe raised two girls, Kristi and Jan, together. And it was while he lived in Blanco, Texas that he and Edythe became grandparents to Ryan and Chenin.
Ray Knox began his professional career as a Construction Engineer for Mobil Oil Corporation. He served as the District Engineer in both San Antonio and Houston. When, in 1958, he moved the family permanently to Houston, he opened and managed a branch office for the Bryan, Texas based B-W Construction Company. It was that experience that prepared him for opening his own business, Rayko Construction Company, in Houston; specializing in commercial construction of banks, churches, office buildings, and shopping centers. In 1977 Ray sold the business to his employees. The business has continued to thrive and operates as Brookstone specializing in churches and educational facilities.
In 1978, Ray and Edythe switched careers and became ranchers. They moved to Blanco, bringing with them 18 pregnant cows, and became one of the first Limosin Breeders in the Texas Hill Country. Ray continued investment interests and consulting work overseeing several engineering projects on both a commercial and volunteer basis. He was the volunteer superintendent and oversight engineer for the award winning Gem of the Hills building. Ray liked creativity and innovation in building. The roof of his residence is an example – it is a hyperbolic parabola. Frank Lloyd Wright was Ray’s favorite architect.
While he lived in the Blanco area, Ray served on the Chamber of Commerce, was a member of the Lions Club (past President), served as Chair of the Republican Party for Blanco County, was appointed Director with the Lower Colorado River Authority and the Texas Solar Energy Society, elected a Director of Gem of the Hills Senior Citizens Community Center, Inc., and was a founding member of both the Citizens for County Unity group and All Faiths Chapel.
Ray Knox was a gentleman in manner, a strong Christian in faith, a loving husband and father, and a guiding mentor for his grandchildren. He passed away on April 4, 2009 from Parkinson’s Disease. He is survived by his loving wife, Edythe, his married daughters, Kristi Knox Downey and husband Gordon Downey and Janet Knox Mathews and husband Stan Mathews, and his two grandchildren, Ryan Christopher Mathews and Chenin Rebecca Mathews. He will be missed by family and friends.