Albert “Ray” Hawthorne

Published 5:00 pm Tuesday, December 8, 2015

OBIT Albert Ray Hawthorne

Albert “Ray” Hawthorne, 77, returned to his heavenly father on December 6, 2015 after a long valiant battle with heart disease.  His devotion to his family and a long list of close friends, along with his firm belief in God, supported him in his struggle and ultimately gave him peace.
Ray was born to the late Grady Hawthorne and Mae Booth Vaughn in Riverside, California, August 19, 1938.  Ray was blessed by having two sets of parents due to his father’s premature death.  Dewey and Mary Lou Hawthorne were the guiding hands as Ray grew up in rural McNeill, MS through his adolescent and high school years. Ray was a Hawthorne through and through, and would always call this time as the most fun time of his entire life.  With a gang of close boyhood friends, watched over by a network
of brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, and uncles, along with caring friends, Ray was always “home” in South Mississippi’s McNeill community. After graduating from McNeill High School, Ray went to Pearl River Junior College, and then on to Mississippi State University, where he graduated in 1960 with a degree in Vocational Agriculture Education.
During Ray’s time in college, he also joined the United States Marine Corp., where he went through basic training at Camp Lejeune, Parris Island, SC.  He then completed his service in the Marine Corp Reserves. Ray went on to use his education in the agricultural field where he started his sales career with the Poplarville Manufacturing Company, selling farm tillage tools and machinery to dealers all across the southeast and later to all corners of the upper Midwest. With Ray’s sales career, he moved his family to Kearney, Missouri in 1976 where he and his wife and two children made a new home.  Ray continued his sales career working for Price Brothers Equipment Company, and later Service Rhino, with whom he finished his sales career, retiring to his home in Kearney, Missouri in 2003.Ray was blessed with a very large network of work cronies and a huge group of church and family friends, to accompany his loving family. He married his wife of 51 years, Doris Hawthorne, on July 4th, 1964 in McNeill, MS.  Ray joked, that he and Doris got married on the 4th of July, as this was the only day he could get off from work, but, who else could claim to have fireworks for every anniversary, but Doris and Ray? Ray helped raise his two children with sound advice, actions by example, and instilling a strong sense of responsibility and love into them. There may have been some strong opinions on world matters thrown in at times, as those around Ray knew, he could provide simple solutions to complex problems, and was free to share his views with all around him. Ray’s home was a hub for friends and family with an active social calendar. Just like the way Ray grew up in South Mississippi, everyone knew the Hawthorne’s of Pearl River County, and when Ray moved to Missouri, Ray carried that same torch of friendship.  Everyone in the Kearney community seemed to know Ray.  You couldn’t go anywhere without Ray running into someone he knew, and they in turn, knew him.
Ray was known in his retirement for his “cake baking” and good cooking.  The Hawthorne house has always had an open door policy, and something was always cooking!
Ray is survived by his wife, Doris; son Kevin (Katie) Hawthorne; daughter Lori Miller (Keith); his grandchildren; Molly Hawthorne, Candice (Kyle) Cribb, Ryan Miller, and Alyssa Miller; Great Grandson Jasper Cribb.  Survivors also include his mother Mary Lou Hawthorne; sisters, Faye (Chet) Pendowski, Gaylen Lott, Sandra Kay Hawthorne; brother, Dan Terry Hawthorne.
Ray’s family will hold a visitation at Kearney First Baptist Church between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Tuesday evening December 8, and then a memorial service at Kearney First Baptist Church at 10:00 a.m. on December 9, with a reception to follow at the Church. After these Missouri services, Ray will return to South Mississippi one last time for a reunion of family and friends. A visitation will be available at the McDonald Funeral Home, Picayune, MS on Friday, December the 11, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Funeral services will then be at Central Baptist Church, McNeill, MS Saturday, December 12, at 10:00 a.m. with a graveside service to follow at McNeill Cemetery. There will also be a reception, afterwards, at Central Baptist Church. Friends and family are welcome to attend, with your best story to share. Ray would not have wanted it any other way.
Donations may be made to Compassionate Care Hospice, Heart Failure Team.
Arrangements: Bross & Spindle Funeral Home, Kearney, MO. 816-628-4411
Obituary, register book, and driving directions can be found on the Internet page, at

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