Leon Ray Camp

January 8, 1932October 11, 2020
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Leon Ray Camp

Leon Ray Camp passed away on October 11, 2020 at home surrounded by his family. He was 88 years old the youngest of 9 children of A.J. and Ella Camp.

Survivors are his wife Linda Newkirk Camp, and children Valerie Wisniewski (Nick), Dr. Drew Camp (Dr. Diane O'Rourke), Angela Camp, Shawn Camp (Tina), and Larry Newkirk, Jr. He had 8 grandchildren, 3 step granddaughters, and 4 great grandchildren.

The family requests that everyone be mindful of the current environment and please wear your mask to the visitation and cemetery service.

Ray was a businessman, consulting forester, surveyor, appraiser, Methodist, and a 32nd degree KCCH Mason. Ray's forestry career began in 1954 when he graduated with a degree in forestry from Arkansas A&M College. His first job was that of Assistant District Forester for Dierks Forests overseeing 150,000 acres of company timberland. He later took a job as a timber procurement forester with J H Hamlin and Son. In 1958, he formed Ray Camp, Inc. Consulting Foresters. During the 1980's, the company grew to four offices in Arkansas and one in Florida. Ray was instrumental in forming the AR chapter of Association of Consulting Foresters, and received the Distinguished Forester Award from the National Association. He was the founding chairman of the AR State Board of Registration for foresters. He was also the founding chairman of the Land Survey Advisory Committee to the AR State Land Commission in 1973. As a representative of the AR Forestry association, he served on the committee until 2016, having served over 40 years. As a founding member of the AR appraisal foundation, he was instrumental in ensuring the state's appraisal licensing and certification legislation addressed the critical interest of Professional Foresters.

Ray served on the Society of American Foresters' National Committee of Timber Taxation and Valuation. He was called as an expert witness on forestry issues in municipal, circuit and federal court in a number of southern states. His testimony in a tax case involving an estate with timberland valued over 5 million dollars set the precedent for the way estate timber valuation and taxation is handled. The appraisal was adjusted to within 5% of the appraised value as defended by Ray Camp, Inc., and was a landmark decision now cited in federal timberland estate tax seminars across the nation.

He joined the AR National Guard in 1949 at the age of 17, and retired with the rank of Colonel and 40 years of service. In 1970, Ray visited the Jimmy Lile knife shop in Russelville and suggested Mr. Lile design a Bowie knife for the 39th Infantry Brigade. Lile later submitted his design to the Adjutant General and it was accepted.

Ray was a natural athlete, participating in all sports as a McGehee Owl, but he excelled at both junior high and high school football. He was named All-State running back in 1949, and was awarded a football scholarship to play for the Boll Weevils of AR A&M. In 1949, he received the first Lions Club award for outstanding football player.

He was a boy scout during WWII and became a Scout Leader serving as Pack Master, Boy Scout leader, and was involved in Wood Badge. He also served on various executive Scout boards. He was a Scout advisor and expedition leader on three Philmont treks. Ray was Scout Master at the 1981 National Jamboree at Ft A.P. Hill, VA., and also at the World's Fair at Knoxville. He served on the Quapaw Area Council advisory Board and Properties Committee.

Special thanks to UAMS Dr. Stephen Sorsby and his staff at the House Calls Program, Dr. Iris Kennedy at AR Urology, Home Team Advantage of Conway and caregivers they provided, Home Health Care IV, Arkansas Hospice, Little Rock Fire Department Station 16, Amy Osborne, special neighbors, friends, and family members especially granddaughter Taylor Newkirk Hay who made many trips to either help him up or to assist him in many ways for several years.

Memorials may be made to Boy Scout Troop 30 at St. Paul United Methodist Church at 2223 Durwood Rd., Little Rock, AR 72207.


  • Pete Caffee
  • John Rodgers
  • Mark Hamer
  • Owen Camp
  • Scott Beardsley
  • Kenny Gibbs


  • Visitation

    Wednesday, October 14, 2020

  • Committal Service with Military Honors

    Thursday, October 15, 2020


Leon Ray Camp

have a memory or condolence to add?

Sharon Speer

October 24, 2020

May you rest in peace, Uncle Ray.

Your enthusiasm and caring nature will be lovingly remembered.

Sharon May Speer

Stacy Palmertree (Dabney)

October 20, 2020

As a teenager, I started helping at at ACF summer meetings that I attended with my family. I became an honorary member each summer. Every summer I looked forward to seeing Mr. Camp. He always was so kind and always had a fun little gift or token for me. As a kid, I felt welcome amongst the adults and never that I was just a kid watching the doors. I will always remember those summers and the kindness Mr. Camp showed me.

Rita Atkinson

October 18, 2020

So sorry to hear of your husband’s passing. He enjoyed a well lived life and will be missed by many.
May the precious memories that you shared over the years be of comfort as you move forward. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Blessings to you!

Mike Dodson

October 16, 2020

I am one of the lucky kids who was in Troop 30 when Mr. Camp was the Scout Master and I was also fortunate to go on the 1986 trip to Philmont.
I truly believe I am a better person because of the time I was able to spend with him learning about trees, knots, and life lessons that I didn't know I was learning while I was learning them. The times we all spent with him were "wonderful" whether or not we knew it at the time. Sadly because of my health status during this pandemic I was not be able to attend the services.
My thoughts and prayers are with Linda and the family.

Family of AJ Kelly

October 16, 2020

Linda, Shawn, Tina, and all of the family,

I'm sorry for your loss, but so glad that you were there for Ray when he most needed it. His was the epitome of a life well-lived. He helped me get my start in professional life; something for which I will forever be in his debt.

Rest In Peace, Ray; and save a place for Linda, Shawn, Tina, and the rest of us!

Marty Gage

October 15, 2020

I'm eternally grateful for Mr. Camp's generosity with his time, patience, sternness, leadership, and ability to have fun and joke under tough conditions.

He made a significant and enduring impact on my life.

Thank you Mr. Camp!

P.S. "Cut the grab ass !"

Matthew Haynes

October 15, 2020

I joined Troop 30 at the invitation of Buddy Newkirk at age 11, earning Eagle Scout and remaining active until I moved away at age 16.

That time of my life, under Mr. Camps leadership, mentoring and friendship was instrumental into developing me to whom I am today.

My children have grown up with stories of our Polar Bear Campouts, Spelunking at Camp Orr, Trekking around Philmont, 2lb Coffee Can Campouts and so much more.

Mr. Camp selflessly devoted so much time and passion to Scouting leaving a legacy of helping so many boys turn into productive and successful men. I will always be grateful for the time and guidance he spent with me.

My condolences to all his family and friends.

Wallace Randle

October 14, 2020

I enjoyed our times in Scouting and time we spent together on Wood Badge Courses. Then time spent together at Troop 045 meeting. He left a positive influence in Scouting. My condolences to his family.

David Reinold

October 13, 2020

Ray Camp, you have lived as a giant in whatever you did and wherever you tread. How blessed I am that you took me under your wing 50 years ago, and gave to me daily all of the chain that I could swim with. You have always led from the front, an unselfish, but demanding model in character.

You treated me like a son and became a very trusted friend. I am grateful for both the time and the toil we shared, whether it was literally up to the armpits in a Florida swamp or wading through head-high bull nettle in the Mississippi River bottoms, or raw and soaked in sweat climbing up the face of a steep mountain to the next bench in the Ozarks. I was paying attention when you taught me to face difficult times in life with chin out and fists balled. You never backed up from anything or anyone in all of the years that I have known you and worked with you. Even when you probably should have, and more than once, by the way, when I was certain we would have to shoot our way out.
I have always known you as a genuine tough guy and a gentle soul with a tender heart. Generous, much more than just fair to Brenda and I, and to all of our kids.

I look forward to seeing you again, on the other side where there will be time without limitation. Maybe then I can properly thank you for the grand life that you have shared.

To Linda, I do express many many thanks for who you are and for what you have done in all of these difficult times. God bless you.

Dave Reinold

Don & Janice Botner

October 13, 2020

Our condolences to the family of Ray Camp. We will miss seeing him at St. Paul UMC, where he was a faithful member.


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