March 23, 2019 GMT

EDGAR RAY ELLIS JR., 76, of Branchland, W.Va., went home to be with Jesus on March 22, 2019, at the Emogene Dolin Jones Hospice House in Huntington at the age of seventy-six years, seven months and sixteen days. He was born August 6, 1942, in Huntington, W.Va. He was the son of the late Edgar Ray Sr. and Ouida Davis Ellis. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Vina Mae Frye Ellis; one son, Edgar Ray (Whitney) Ellis III of Logan; one daughter, Kimberly (Roger) Ellis Dial of Branchland; brother, Jack (Linda) Ellis of Greensboro, N.C.; sister, Nedra Kay Dingess of Branchland; two grandsons, Petty Officer First Class Joshua Dial of Middleburg, Fla., and Philip (Becky) Dial of Branchland; three granddaughters, Caitlin, Abigail and Lauren Ellis of Logan; five great-grandchildren, Emily, Kylie, Anna, Vivian and Ezekiel Dial; and a multitude of cousins, nieces, nephews and friends, all of whom he spent countless hours praying would live a life pleasing God and would reunite with him again one day in our heavenly home. Ray loved to regale friends and loved ones with tales of his youth and growing up in West Virginia. Early in their marriage, Ray and Vina moved to Southern California where they started their family and raised two children. While living in California, Ray accepted Jesus Christ as his savior, and so began his 47-year calling as a Sunday school teacher. He has been a member of the Church of God (Cleveland, TN) since 1972 and was a charter member of The Lincoln County Church of God in West Hamlin. Although Ray lived several years on the other side of the country, his heart was always in the West Virginia hills, to which he returned with his family in 1978. Ray was a meat cutter by trade and was a graduate of the National School of Meat Cutting in Toledo, Ohio. He was a member of the Meat Cutters Union #421 and could skillfully break down any animal put in front of him. He could make the fanciest of cuts seem easy and always had a beautiful display, but his most treasured moments were spent carving the turkey or ham for his family as they gathered around the table before he prayed and thanked his kind, gracious Heavenly Father for His many blessings. Ray enjoyed a good cheeseburger, going to church, sports, snuggling babies and anything related to Marshall University. He rarely missed a game and made many fond memories over the years, at home and away, supporting The Herd. However, it was his family that he loved the most of all. He was the happiest when everyone was together, laughing, eating, appreciating life and one another. His family was his greatest joy, and the smile they put on his face will never be forgotten. Even though he is gone from this earthly body, he still lives on. He will remain in the heart of his wife as she remembers his gentle, dependable and brave spirit. He is in the soft resilience of his daughter and the humor of his son. He lives on in the compassion and grace that he taught to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, whom he admired dearly. His many heartfelt prayers, along with the love and wisdom he shared, will never pass away. The family would like to invite everyone to pay their respects at The Lincoln Church of God from 6 to 9 p.m. on Sunday, March 24, 2019. Koontz Funeral Home is in charge of the services, which will be held at The Lincoln Church of God at 1 p.m. Monday, March 25, 2019, with Bishop Lonnie Wilson officiating. Burial will follow at the Ellis Family Cemetery, Branchland, W.Va.