Monday, May 29, 2023

Ray Gurley

Ray Gurley, age 84 years, a resident of rural Buncombe, Illinois and a former resident of Dixon, passed away Saturday afternoon, August 13, 2022, at 12:35 PM at the Linda E. White Hospice House in Evansville, Indiana.

Ray was born February 19, 1938 in Vienna, Illinois.  He was the son of Jesse and Clara Opal (Pentecost) Gurley.

On June 1, 1957, Ray was united in marriage to Linda Lea Merriman in Buncombe, Illinois.  She survives.

Ray is also survived by: 2 sons – Ronald (his wife, Sherry) Gurley of Dixon, Illinois and Jerrold (his wife, Eva) Gurley of Franklin Grove, Illinois; 6 grandchildren; and 5 great grandchildren.

In addition to his parents, Ray was preceded in death by his stepmother – Lora Mae (Greeny) Gurley; an infant grandson; a brother – Robert Calvin Gurley; and a half-brother – Storekeeper 3rdClass (SK3) Jesse Herbert Gurley – who died aboard the U.S.S. Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, 1941.

Ray was a 1957 graduate of Vienna High School.  He was employed as a meat cutter by Swift & Company at the Rochelle, Illinois plant.  Swift & Company was later acquired by ConAgra and Ray continued working for the firm in the St. Charles, Illinois facility.  Ray then worked for Schreiber Foods in Dixon, Illinois which was also later acquired by Swift & Company.  Following retirement, Ray and Linda returned to Southern Illinois to reside.

Ray enjoyed hunting, gardening and finding treasures at flea markets and garage sales.

Ray was a member of Whiteash Free Will Baptist Church, near Marion.

A service honoring the life of Ray Gurley will be held Tuesday afternoon, August 30, 2022, at 1 PM at Bailey Funeral Home in Vienna.  Pastor Andy Lee will officiate.

Burial will be in the Mt. Zion Cemetery, east of Buncombe.

Visitation will be held Tuesday afternoon, August 30, 2022, from 12 Noon – 1 PM  at Bailey Funeral Home in Vienna.

Donations in memory of Ray may be made to the Dravet Syndrome Foundation, Inc. (in honor of Ray and Linda’s grandson, Hayden Gurley) and may be mailed to P.O. Box 3026, Cherry Hill, New Jersey 08034.  Please memo “Ray Gurley memorial.”  Donations may also be made online at

To share a memory of Ray or to leave an online message of condolence for his family, please visit

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Bailey Funeral Home in Vienna.