Clyde B. Ray

Clyde B. Ray, age 100, of Charlotte, passed away Saturday, December 7, 2019, at his home. He was born November 11, 1919, in Blanchard, MI. Clyde grew up on the family farm in rural Montcalm County. He graduated from high school in Blanchard in 1937. He lived in the thumb for a brief time in his teens with his brother and his wife. Soon after graduating from high school, he went to live with the local county agent and his family. During this time, he attended Arenac County Normal School to obtain his teaching certificate. After receiving his certificate, he enrolled at Michigan State College. It was there that he would go on to earn a bachelor’s degree and later his master’s degree. While he was attending Michigan State College, he met a charming young lady by the name of Violet Nelson. During Clyde’s time at Michigan State College, he was also enrolled in ROTC. After his time there, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and was sent to basic training at Fort Riley, Kansas. Before being sent overseas, he returned home to Michigan for one final visit. While there, he and Violet decided to make a bus trip to the thumb so she could meet Clyde’s brother and sister-in-law. On the ride home, Violet asked Clyde if he would marry her before he was to be shipped out in just a few short weeks. He agreed, and the two were soon married at Violet’s family home in Brookfield Township. Clyde served in the U.S. Army from 1943 to 1946 with the 28th Infantry in Germany and later with the 355th Engineer Battalion. He earned three Bronze Service Stars for his heroic service to his fellow man and country.
When he returned home from active duty, he began his teaching career in Vocational Agriculture at Hanover-Horton Schools and later Lake Odessa. Violet was also teaching home economics at the same time in Lake Odessa. When an opening for teachers came up in Charlotte, the couple jumped at the opportunity. Clyde would teach Vocational Agriculture for 28 years before retiring, and Violet taught on and off for 20 years. Clyde loved his students and the opportunity he had to be a positive influence in their lives.
Clyde is survived by his sons: Roger of Lansing, Nelson and (Rochelle) of Hillsdale; grandchildren: Adrian (Cassandra) Ray, Aimee (David) Cole, Aubrey (Louis) Harper, Anderson Emmillie (Jonah) Boot; great-grandchildren: Bailey Ray, Teagan Ray, Emmerson Ray, Merik Slovacek, Adaline Flint, and Viola Harper.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Violet in 2006; and nine siblings.
Funeral services were held on Thursday, December 12, 2019, at the Lawrence Avenue United Methodist Church. Burial was scheduled to take place at Danby Cemetery.
Those desiring, may make contributions in Clyde’s honor to the Disabled American Veterans or Charlotte FFA Scholarship Fund, 378 State St., Charlotte MI 48813.
To view Clyde’s obituary online, or to leave a condolence for the family, visit