Viewing, Funeral, and Burial Services
June 16, 2023
There will be a viewing and visitation with Ray’s Family from 6-8pm at Bunker Garden Chapel at 33 N Centennial Way, Mesa, AZ 8520.
June 17, 2023
There will also be a viewing and visitation with Ray’s family from 9-9:45am with the funeral service following afterwards starting at 10am. The viewing & funeral service location is at The church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints church building at 1050 S Hobson, Mesa, AZ 85355.
The services may be live streamed at bit.ly/mesastake
The burial service will be at the Mountain View Memorial Gardens at 7900 E Main St, Mesa, AZ 85207 following the funeral service.
Raymond Gene McCrite, 76, of Mesa, AZ passed away on May 28, 2023 surrounded by his loved ones.
Ray was born March 24,1947 in Pomerene, AZ to Garland and Nell Burton. He was born in his great-grandmother Fenn’s maternity home surrounded and welcomed by four of his grandmothers. He was two years old when his father passed away in a work accident. When he was six years old his mother remarried Luther Thomas McCrite who then adopted Ray and his sister Garlyn. That’s when he became Raymond Gene McCrite.
He was raised in Gilbert, AZ and attended Gilbert elementary, middle school, and high school. Ray ran around with a group of boys that became lifelong friends. He was part of the varsity basketball team at Gilbert High School. He had a great love of basketball and a great talent for it. He attended college at different times for an accumulation of two years.
Ray loved to dance, and performed professionally in ballroom and Latin dance from his childhood. He performed at the Arizona State Fair and on the Lou King Ranger local television show. Dancing was one of the things he most enjoyed.
The summer he was twelve, he lived on the Sells Reservation and went out everyday hunting rattlesnakes. He would shoot the rattlesnake, cut and bury its head, and then he would cut off the rattles and add them to one of the two cigar boxes he filled to the brim that summer.
Ray started raising and raced homing pigeons as a teenager. He had multiple lofts over his lifetime. He loved his birds. He enjoyed watching them fly and waiting for his birds to come home to see how well they ranked up against the other birds in their race.
In 1966, he was called to serve in the Andes Mission serving in Peru. He became fluent in Spanish, and loved the Peruvian people. He came home from his mission in September of 1968. At Ray’s homecoming, he was introduced to a new girl, Renée Palmer, his forever sweetheart. A few months later, Ray and Renée started dating, and after seven dates in nine days, they were engaged. They were married April 18, 1969 in the Mesa, AZ Temple and have been married for 54 years.
Ray and Renée had their first daughter, Janet, the next year, and soon after had three more children, Chad, Darbi, and Wade, within the first five years of marriage. Then, five years later, they had three little girls, Erin, Julie, and Tana, about eighteen months apart. One of his favorite things was hearing his children’s excitement for him when he would come home and they would run and say, “Daddy’s home! Daddy’s home!” Ray and Renée have 32 grandchildren and 17 ¼ great-grandchildren.
Ray was extremely hard working and firmly believed that a job worth doing was a job worth doing well no matter how small. He valued quality, precision, and efficiency. Because this was his personal motto and work ethic, he was assigned to manage groups of workers at a very young age. He could be counted on to make sure the work was of highest quality. In so many areas of work, he’d start at the bottom and quickly work his way up because of his work ethic and a keen eye. He was a salesman, block layer, supervisor, and systems and procedure developer. He started out as a framer, and in less than a year, became a finish carpenter. He was a building inspector and pool maintenance man. He calculated drywall to use it to its fullest. Because Ray did so well, he received and accepted a job offer at a drywall supply company that he stayed at for the last thirty years before retiring. There he was a salesman, dispatcher, and manager. The longest position he had was the regional credit manager. He excelled at everything he did and was a wellspring of knowledge that he was always willing to share with others. He enjoyed helping them save their businesses and learn how to successfully do their personal finances.
Ray had 3 strokes and brain surgery within 9 years, starting at the age 29. As a result, he was permanently paralyzed on his left side. He lost the ability to do some of his favorite things, including his ability to play basketball and dance. He had many miracles in this life and was given the gift of staying with his loved ones and chose to live a full life. It wasn’t always easy for him. There were times he was frustrated, but for the majority of the time he intentionally chose to be optimistic, laugh, tease, have fun, joke, and enjoy life. He focused on the things he could do. One of his famous sayings is, “It will feel better when it stops hurting.” He modeled how to do hard things well and inspired so many that loved him and knew him.
He was determined to walk, do, and work. He did things that two-armed and two-legged men couldn’t manage. He never turned down a church calling. He continued to work and provide for his family even after his strokes and being partially paralyzed. Three weeks after his brain surgery, he went back to work with the help of a friend driving him to and from the office. On his 70th birthday, he retired with the mentality of “I may be doing something else, but that doesn’t mean I’ll stop working and achieving.”
Within Ray’s lifetime he lived most of his life in Gilbert and Mesa, Arizona and about thirteen years in a combination of Bakersfield, Modesto, Ramona, and Santee, California.
Ray served in many church callings, including young mens, stake missionary, in multiple bishoprics, executive secretary, a nursery leader, high council member, temple worker, and as a patriarch to Spanish speaking members.
In February of 2018, Ray and Renée served as senior missionaries in the Kansas Wichita Mission. He was called to serve as the mission finance secretary. The missionaries loved him and they congregated in his office to glean from him. He would teach them about credit cards and how to use them to their advantage. He’d teach them about finances, budgeting, savings accounts, and how to effectively find people with whom to share the gospel.
After his mission, Ray was so excited to get another Britney Spaniel. Penny loves him and misses him as much as anyone.
Now, he’s running in the fields and dancing along the way to heaven. He’s gone on ahead, paving the way home for his wife, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, mother, brothers, and sisters.