Is this Heaven or Belize?
Ray Barker
  • Date of passing: Jun 4, 2014
Let the memory of Ray be with us forever
This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Ray Barker, . We will remember him forever.
Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Debra Marrs on 5th June 2017

"Although I did not have the pleasure to have known him as long as most of you I miss him too! I miss the compassion he had for this smallest things. He used to feed the birds every morning and Thank God for John to have continued that act of kindness for as long as he could.I still have a snippet of the huge beautiful plant flourishing on my desk and it  reminds me of Ray everyday!"

This tribute was added by Dana Roberson on 4th June 2017

"I miss this man.  What a great soul, spirit.  It makes me realize how brief life is and how much I need to stay in touch with those I love."

This tribute was added by Lynn Wilson on 4th June 2017

"Like Tina, John and all the other people whose lives you made inherently better, I think of you often, too, Ray.  It's such a great feeling when I do.  Always something to share with you.  Like my rediscovered love of reading.  I know you're liking that one!  Communication has so many different levels and they can all be greatly rewarding, keeping spirits connected forever.  See ya!"

This tribute was added by John Young on 4th June 2017

"It has already been 3 years since we lost you! Wow! a lot has happened but your lost still remains. I have realized Belize is a state of mind so I have joined you there from time to time. Still think of you often."

This tribute was added by Bruce Davis on 4th June 2016

"After I left the North TEX office and went to San Marcos, Ray and I continued to write each other using and early version of email called message handler. He always made my day!"

This tribute was added by John Young on 4th June 2016

"It has been 2 years old friend and I have not gotten to Belize yet! Still think of you from time to time and miss that dry wit!!"

This tribute was added by Dana Roberson on 4th June 2015

"It's been a year and it still a loss.  Ray was and is such a great man.  I choose to believe he is watching me and nudging me in the right direction.  I cannot believe I have to go thru a presidential campaign without Ray; but I know he will be laughing with me as I watch the debates and Rachel M show.  Ray your brilliant, gentle energy will always be missed."

This tribute was added by Cherylyn Turner on 27th June 2014

"It was a pleasure meeting and working with Ray. I'm so glad that I got to work with such a kind and thoughtful man. It was great hearing when he first started working at the Workforce, and other stories he shared with me. He will be missed."

This tribute was added by Michelle Cannon on 25th June 2014

"Ray was truly a genuine person I was blessed to have crossed paths with."

This tribute was added by Josie Olvera on 25th June 2014

"Sometimes quiet, always supportive, forever cherished. The green mile will be a little less crowed, but I believe he will walk besides us forever."

This tribute was added by Seaufy Peg Frey on 24th June 2014

"Ray Barker. Always helpful. Always insightful.  Always a gentleman and a gentle man.  We miss you."

This tribute was added by Kathy Lansford on 24th June 2014

"For a skinny man of few words, he certainly has left an enormous void within his work family, his close friends, and just the world in general.
Those who took the time to get to know him were well rewarded. He was fortunate to sit on a row full of crazy, fun-loving people. (Hope Sheila writes about the early morning dancing.) He had a job through which he helped people; he had a few devoted friends who cared about him passionately; and he loved books, plants and birds. It was a very good life."

This tribute was added by Melissa Portillo on 23rd June 2014

"I will never forget our Christmas time sing alongs.  We made Ray sing Christmas carols out loud.  He was such a good sport.  When we would gather for lunch at different restaraunts after our group had disbanded we would take copies of the lyrics to The Grinch and sing it for fun afterwards.  No matter how silly our ideas were, Ray always participated.  I like to remember him smile and laugh when I would tell him silly things.  His hugs were very gentle and comforting when I was lucky enough to be reunited with him at our lunches.  He will be missed and never forgotten."

This tribute was added by Marcela Patrick on 22nd June 2014

"My dear friend, you will be missed...."

This tribute was added by Lynn Wilson on 21st June 2014

"I had the great fortune of sitting across from Ray while I worked at Workforce.  He was a quiet, gentle man when I first met him.  Once we got to know each other, that changed.  Oh, boy did that change!  Not the kind and gentle part – just the quiet part.  Ha!  Ray was a very passionate man, about so many things – his work, his books, his politics, his war stories……and, of course, his very dear friend Tina.  Sitting near to Ray meant that I could watch his playful reaction to John Young’s humor, too.  There was always laughter in our area, with John and Ray bantering back and forth every day.  It was fun to listen to.  

I left Workforce in January, 2013.  That signaled the beginning of a closer friendship with Ray.  We became movie buddies.  I remember the last movie we went to was not Ray’s cup of tea, but he loved going to movies, so he didn't care.  We exchanged daily emails, where his inordinate intelligence and humor shined.  Often I would have to ask him what a word meant, as I had never heard of it before.  He sent pictures of animals early every morning.  My new co-workers got hooked on them and really miss that now….

During our conversations outside of work, I would just sit and listen to Ray tell a story.  His love for reading took him to a world few of us will ever experience.  As a result, he was a truly amazing story-teller.  He remembered every little detail because every little detail was important to him.  

Ray had a work ethic that meant if you don’t feel well, you come to work.  When you are at work you do your job, but you try to find better ways of doing it.  When you are at work you help your co-workers find solutions to problems.  You water their plants.  You put desserts on their desks when they are off doing something else because you know they love sweets!  You always ask them how they are doing when you know they have been struggling with something.

Ray cared so deeply for people.  Being quiet by nature, I doubt that many of you ever knew how much you meant to him.  He would do anything for others that he could – that’s why he came to work every day.  You were his family and he loved you!

I miss you so much, Ray.  But I know you are in a better place and that we’ll meet up again one day.  In the meantime, just keep reading.  I’m looking forward to more of your amazing stories...."

This tribute was added by Nora Chapa on 21st June 2014

"I wasn't close to Ray and never took the time to know him better, but; I can describe him as a “Treasure box”. He was a very modest person and always projected his best to us, no matter what was going on inside of him. He was a workaholic, a very respectful and compassionate person. I still remember the day before his trip to “Belize” when he came to the break room to get his ice as usual. I noticed something different on his persona and I meant to stop by his cubical but I didn't. You know I’m always in a hurry and I totally forgot stop by and ask him, if he was doing ok. Friends, I learned from this experience; we are more than just co-workers and we should always make the time to take care of each other as a family."

This tribute was added by Natalie Smith on 20th June 2014

"Ray was an intelligent man and a wealth of information. He knew the Work In Texas system backwards and forwards. He was seen as one of the resident experts, and many went to him for advice or to help troubleshoot. Ray could be described as a man of few words, but when he spoke people listened. He chose his words wisely and always knew how to communicate things in a positive and respectful way, thus gaining the respect of all of his colleagues. He brought integrity, intelligence and compassion to the career center. Ray you are missed."

This tribute was added by Bruce Davis on 19th June 2014

"Ray was one of the most well read people I have ever known. I met Ray for the first time back in the early 90's when I became a Vet Rep at the Texas Employment Commission on MOPAC. He and Greg Walker, another intelligent man, were both smokers and we were at the early years of smoking being banned in the office, and they  would  take smoke breaks together under the oak tree on a picnic table, and I would go out an listen and add my 2 cents...well maybe 10 cents. The 3 of us were Viet Nam Era Vets, but really being well read and acute about politics was what we shared. Ray served his country in so many ways and his service to the state of Texas was remarkable for so many years.We can never calculate how many lives he changed in his own quiet way."

This tribute was added by Lisa Cameron on 19th June 2014

"Ray was one of the first people I would see every morning and he had such a way of lighting up my day.  I loved Ray dearly and have many fond and funny memories of the stories we would share on our smoke breaks.  I'll miss his book recommendations as well.  Such a sad time for us all but Heaven is now blessed with his great presence."

This tribute was added by Roman Pena on 19th June 2014

"Ray was my friend and I will miss him."

This tribute was added by Cheryl Selby on 19th June 2014

"I remember when Ray moved his cubical in next to mine.  We spent lots of time talking about our plants.  His had never bloomed until he moved next to me and I always used to kid him and say it was my good vibes.  But of course all my plants turned brown...."

This tribute was added by Dana Roberson on 19th June 2014

"I loved this man, he was the true definition of greatness. Humble, caring, devoted, brilliant and kind.  His spirit will be with us forever."

This tribute was added by Beverly Ryan on 19th June 2014

"I spent many mornings talking to Ray while we watched the birds eat.  I enjoyed his politics and his dry sense of humor.  I think of him every time I see the birds -  I was so happy to see John continue feeding them. Ray will be missed."

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This memorial is administered by:

John Young


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