Raymond Dunbar

February 12, 1932 - November 27, 2021


Raymond Douglas Dunbar was welcomed into the arms of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Saturday, November 27, with his family by his side.

Ray entered the world via Cotton Plant, Arkansas on February 12, 1932, the youngest of six children born to adoring parents, Lura and Dale Dunbar. After losing his father as an infant, Ray bootstrapped his way through life, working hard to excel in all he could and encouraging others to do the same.

A proud 1954 graduate of Arkansas State Teachers College (now the University of Central Arkansas), Ray excelled in academics and all collegiate sports. At one point, he led the nation in punting – one of many reasons he was inducted into the UCA Sports Hall of Fame in 2010. But among these accolades, his greatest accomplishment of that era was meeting his future bride, Barbara Best.

Upon graduation, the US Army drafted Ray for duty at Fort Shafter, Hawaii where he was selected to play on the Army’s baseball team. Ray’s abilities and affinity for sports led him back to Arkansas as a high school coach, eventually rising to high school principal and Superintendent of Schools. He had a positive influence on many children throughout Arkansas and Oklahoma.

To know Ray was to know that his greatest joy in life was his family. He leaves behind the close-knit family he adored and who cherished him: his beloved wife of 65 years, Barbara; devoted sons and their spouses: Mike (Janet) of Waynesville, Missouri, Doug (Sharon) of Manassas, Virginia, and Butch (Martha) of Texarkana, Texas; loving grandchildren: Dustin (Stephanie), Chris (Brooke), Alesa, Colleen, and Zach; and three spunky great-grandchildren: Mason, Sophie, and Charlotte.

Ray was preceded in death by his parents, Lura and Dale Dunbar, and his older siblings: Nina, Keith, Burt, Dale and Roy.

He will be missed for his many “detailed” stories, candid perspectives, adventurous road trips, art of unique gifting, and abiding faith in God.

Funeral services will be in the chapel at Williams Memorial United Methodist Church, 4000 Moores Lane, Texarkana, Texas on Thursday, December 2, 2021, at 2:30 p.m. Following the service, the family will receive friends at Butch and Martha’s home.

A celebration of his life will be held at a later date among family.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks donations be made to Hospice of Texarkana.

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