Ray Vesta White, 97, of the Possum Valley community in Drew County, passed away on March 13, 2018
He and his twin sister, May Esta were born December 1, 1920 in the community of Goat Neck south of Warren. R.V. attended Warren schools until his family moved across the Saline River to the Corinth community. Later, the farming family relocated in the Possum Valley community.
After completing school at Drew Central in 1939, the farm boy laid down the plow stock and picked up a gun stock. He enlisted in the United States Army for six years as a mess sergeant and medic in the Army Ambulance Service working closely with the American Red Cross. He was involved in five major European battles during World War II stationed mainly in Germany and France.
R.V. returned to Possum Valley after an honorable discharge and married the girl next door, Lucille Glennon. They were married 63 years. They had two sons, Bill and Floyd.
R.V. surrendered to the ministry of the gospel in 1952 at Central Baptist Church in Warren and retired from pastoring in 2003. He pastored several country churches in Drew County. He was pastor of Shady Grove Baptist for 28 years. His pastoring began and ended with his beloved Bethel Baptist Church in Possum Valley.
He preached nearly 1,300 funerals with a remarkable gift of bringing comfort, hope and encouragement to grieving families. He became known as the funeral preacher. He became an honorary member of the Warren Masonic Lodge for the many Masonic Rite funerals he conducted for them. He conducted hundreds of masonic funerals and no one could ever do it quite like Brother R.V. He could recite the entire masonic funeral service and did it with such great mastery and articulation.
R.V. served on the school board at Drew Central School District for 15 years and was inducted into the Drew Central Hall of Fame in 2005. He was a Mason and a 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason. He was past master of the lodges at Ladelle and Monticello and served one term as District Deputy Grand Master.
On January 2, 2010, a year after Lucille departed, he married his cousin’s widow, Rachel Waites Gifford. They had six wonderful years filled with teenage-like fun and laughter.
Funeral service will be held on Friday, March 16 at 2 p.m. at Stephenson-Dearman Chapel with burial to follow in Oakland Cemetery. Visitation will be on Thursday, March 15 from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the funeral home.
Memorials may be made to Bethel Baptist Church c/o Barbie Eubanks, 193 Longview Rd., Willmar, AR 71675.