In loving memory of Norman Ray Keefer, a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and retired Army First Sergeant and avid SCUBA diver, who passed away at the age of 63.
Ray’s life was a testament to love, duty, and adventure.
Born 22 June 1960, in Houston, TX, Ray embarked on a fulfilling journey that intertwined with the values of service and family. He graduated from Sam Houston State University state in 1982 before marrying the love of his life Andrea in the spring of 1984. He found his career calling in 1987 when he enlisted in the United States Army. He served 20 years in a military career that spanned a variety of positions across the Field Artillery and Signal Corps and took him and his family to many far flung places. After serving his country honorably, he committed himself to a second career in the civilian defense contracting industry leveraging the skills and discipline acquired from his military service.
Ray’s love for his family was immeasurable and he never lost sight of what was truly important to him. He and his wife Andrea forged their own path through life across multiple continents, as true partners of nearly 40 years, raising a family of three wonderful sons. Ray cherished the time he spent with his three sons, whether it be coaching their little league baseball or football teams, road tripping across Europe, chasing them through the backyard with a nerf gun, or just being there to support them in their own personal endeavors. His three sons, Chris, Stephen, and John have gone on to create families of their own using the role model that Ray set to guide them.
Beyond his dedication to family, Ray found solace and exhilaration beneath the waves. An avid SCUBA diver of more than 30 years, he explored the depths of the ocean with a sense of wonder and awe, finding peace in the embrace of the ocean. He shared this love of diving with anyone willing to try it, including his wife, three sons, daughter-in-law, as well as numerous other good friends and colleagues.
Ray’s passing leaves an irreplaceable void in the hearts of those who knew and loved him. He is preceded in death by his parents, Luther and Madlyn and by his sister Kay. He leaves behind his beloved wife, Andrea, who stood by his side through thick and thin, sharing in the joys and trials of life. He also leaves behind his three sons and their families consisting of: Chris (Haomin), Stephen (Jenna), John (Hannah) and Ray’s five grandchildren. Ray will also be dearly missed by his sister Donna and her family.
His legacy of love, courage, and unwavering devotion will continue to inspire and uplift all who were fortunate enough to have been touched by his presence.
A coral reef internment will occur for Ray in accordance with his wishes, on a date to be decided later, in the spring. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the ALS foundation.
Though Ray may no longer walk among us, his spirit will forever live on in the memories and hearts of those he leaves behind.