Rev. Raymond Earl Lanham
August 28, 1925 – July 31, 2019
Reverend Raymond Earl Lanham August 28, 1925 – July 31, 2019
Ray Lanham passed away peacefully in his sleep Wednesday morning, July 31, the 130th anniversary of his father’s birthday.
Born in Nainital, UK India to Methodist missionary parents Daisy Belle and John Wesley Lanham, Ray spent much of his youth in India with his parents, brother Charles, and sister Lucy. The family returned to the U.S. on furlough, then returned to India until John Wesley “Tuffy” Lanham became ill and subsequently passed away after returning to the States. The family moved to Wilmore, KY where the Lanham children attended Wilmore High School. Charles and Ray went on to attend Asbury College and Seminary to become ordained ministers.
Ray followed his brother Charles into the Army Air Corps during World War II and was within a few weeks of getting his flight-engineer wings in a B-29 Superfortress when the war began to wind down. Rather than stay in the Army, he opted to return to college and pursue his calling as a minister and a missionary to India. Ray sang in a quartet in college which traveled all over the Midwest singing in churches, tent revivals and other religious festivals. Two remaining members of that quartet – Jack Stowell who lives Portland, OR and Ted Smith who lives in Columbus, OH -- stayed in touch with Ray throughout his life.
In college Ray met Joann Maybee Haines and they were married in June of 1948 in Greentown, IN. Following seminary graduation in 1951, Ray and Jo went to the Missionary School in Hartford, CT before serving in southern Chhattisgarh State in central India. They served as missionaries for four years and both sons, Michael and Bob, were born there. After a 2-year furlough to Ohio and Indiana the family went back to the mission field in the Philippines. While there, Ray returned to his love of flying that developed while serving in the Air Corps. He used small airplanes to reach remote village churches that he served in his mission work.
The family returned to the States in 1963, and Ray took additional flight training to earn his Commercial, Instrument, Instructor and Air Transport certifications. He taught both his sons to fly and each soloed while still in high school. Ray pursued his pastoral training to become a hospital chaplain receiving his Master of Science in Pastoral Counseling from Butler University in Indianapolis in 1969. He served as an associate chaplain at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis from 1964 to 1970.
In 1970 Ray took a position with the New Hope Foundation offering long-term care services through a specialized insurance and annuity program for parents of disabled children. Ray served as the executive director of New Hope for 4 years. During this time, Ray and Jo went their separate ways. Ray and Rose subsequently met through work and they were married in 1977. With this union, Rose brought her three children into the family; Doug, Steve, and Linda.
In 1977 Ray accepted a position as the head of the chaplaincy department for the Toledo Hospital in Ohio. Ray worked with the hospital and the community to develop one of the early Hospice programs and an active multi-denominational chaplaincy service that served that large community hospital.
In 1990 Ray and Rose retired and moved to Garland, TX to be nearer family (especially grandchildren). Shortly after moving, they left for a 3-month mission trip to the Punjab region of India. Ray provided chaplaincy training services at the Christian Medical College & Hospital in Ludhiana helping set up ministerial programs to serve Sikh, Hindu, Christian and Muslim patients in the hospital setting.
When they returned, Ray and Rose settled into their new life and became active members of the Lydia Mood Sunday school class at First United Methodist Church in Garland and Ray joined the Sanctuary Choir. Ray and Rose lived in their home in Garland until the fall of 2013 when they moved to a Brookdale retirement community in Garland. That October Ray suffered a stroke and subsequently was rehabilitated, moving later to a Brookdale facility in Dallas to be closer to the family.
Throughout his adult life, Ray was an avid bowler and lived for his twice-a-week bowling leagues and kept very detailed records of his bowling scores hoping to improve his lifetime 149-average. He finally stopped bowling at the age of 91. Ray loved football, basketball, ice cream, India, and speaking Hindi. He lived in the moment, trusting God to provide for him and his family (and the Lord did). He was gifted at lifting up prayers and was often asked to pray at family and other gatherings. He showed many people their path to salvation through knowing Jesus Christ and his caring example of how to love people.
Ray presided over the marriage ceremonies of his children and many of his grandchildren. He also baptized his children, many grandchildren, and one great grandchild.
The family has been blessed by this wonderful man of God, supportive husband, loving father and step-father, doting grandfather, avid pilot and bowler. May the Lord bless and keep him by His side forever.
Ray is survived by his wife, Rose; his sister, Lucy; five children: Michael (Joan), Bob (Leigh), Doug, Steve, Linda (Brent); daughter-in-law, Jan Burress; six grandchildren: Michele (Raphael), Nathan (Jennifer), Emily (Jonathan), Whitney (Jason), Ryan, Lauren; and six great grandchildren: Mary Clare, Hannah, Catherine, Matthew, Gabriel, Patrick.
A memorial service will be held at First United Methodist Church, 801 W. Avenue B, Garland, TX at 10:00 am on Friday, November 1, 2019. A family interment ceremony will follow that afternoon at the Dallas-Ft. Worth National Cemetery.
Donations may be made in memory of Rev. Ray Lanham at the following:
First United Methodist Church 801 West Avenue B at Glenbrook Garland, TX 75040 (972) 272-3471 http://fumcgarland.org/giving email@example.com
United Methodist Board of Missions The Advance 458 Ponce De Leon Ave, NE Atlanta, GA 30308 800-862-4246 firstname.lastname@example.org https://advance.umcmission.org/