February 20, 2021, 61, La Grange –
Raymond “Ray” Earnest, 61, was released from the bonds of this earth and entered into eternal glory on Saturday, February 20, 2021. Ray was born in Waukegan, Illinois to Martha Smith Earnest and the late Amon Earnest on May 17, 1959.
Ray proudly and faithfully served his country for 15 years in the U.S. Army, retiring in 1989. During this time, he received many awards including the Army Achievement Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, Rifle M-16 Marksmanship Qualification Badge, and the Hand Grenade Qualification Badge.
For Ray, there was nothing better to watch on television than the old classics. Whether watching “The Andy Griffith Show” or an old western, Ray enjoyed every second when his favorite shows were on the screen. Ray was pure country down to his boots, and the simplicity of life found in these shows was a reflection of his values and happiness.
Any time that Ray could spend outdoors was priceless to him. He loved being out in the woods, and there was no better place than being in the solitude of his deer stand. Waiting for that trophy buck and attaining his prize was the best feeling. He displayed many 8- and 10-pointers on the walls of his home with pride.
If Ray wasn’t in his deer stand, you could likely find him cruising down the road on his motorcycle. For Ray, the best motorcycle brand was a Honda, and he traveled many miles enjoying the surrounding sights and the steady breeze.
Martial Arts was one of the most important facets of Ray’s life. Qualifying as a 3rd Degree Brown belt in a little over 2 years, Ray fell in love with the art and continued to practice it as his health allowed.
A service to celebrate and remember Ray’s life will be held by the graveside on Wednesday, February 24, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. at Westview Cemetery, Kinston with Pastor John Wiggins officiating. The service will conclude with military honors.
In addition to his mother, Ray is survived by his wife, Esther Boone Earnest; son, Christopher Michael Earnest; Esther’s children, Curt Boone, Scott Boone, and Angela Lewis; grandchildren, Layla, Logan and husband, Mike, Josh, and Tyler and fiancee, Hannah; great-grandchild and the apple of his eye,
Chance; siblings, Mary Ann Dawson and husband, Nelson, Sharon Courtney, and Rhonda Courtney; his nephew, Patrick Hardy; as well as many extended family members and friends.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.rousefh.com. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, PO Box 758516, Topeka, Kansas 66675-8516. Arrangements are entrusted to Rouse Funeral Home, La Grange.