Robert Raymond ” Ray” Lunsford
Robert Raymond “Ray” Lunsford of Cordele, Chief of Crisp County Fire Rescue, went home to be with Jesus on Saturday, Nov. 7 surrounded by his wife and daughters. Born in Albany, Ray grew up in Arlington as the son of the late Raymond Arnold and Martha Boynton Lunsford of Arlington. Ray is a graduate of Calhoun County High School and Abraham Baldwin College where he met the love of his life, Kathryn Hobbs Lunsford of Cordele. Together they built a home in Albany before moving to Cordele in 1997. God gifted them with two daughters during their marriage, Tammy Jean Lunsford George of Douglasville and Lisa Kathryn Lunsford Muller of Savannah. In addition to his commitment to loving others through Christian service, Ray answered the call to a career as a public servant. Ray dedicated the last 19 of his 45 years in fire service as Chief of CCFR. He started his career as a firefighter as a volunteer where he served for 4 years. He continued for the next 22 years in Albany achieving the rank of Captain in the Training Division and as the Hazardous Materials Coordinator. While in Albany he was elected Firefighter of the Month twice, and for 10 years he was also employed with the Dougherty County EMS. Ray also taught CPR for many years as an instructor with the American Heart Association. Ray came to Cordele and Crisp County in 1997 as the County Fire Chief. During his tenure here, he served on the Board of SW Georgia Chiefs Association and also as Chaplain for seven years. In 2014 he was elected Georgia Association of Fire Chiefs District Vice President of the Year. He was an active member of the Cordele Lions Club since 1998 and was elected Lion of the Year in 2005/2006 and served as president in 2009/2010. Ray was a longtime Parade Committee Chair and received the Melvin Jones Fellow Award in 2014. While in Albany, Ray was an active member and deacon at Byne Memorial Baptist Church participating in multiple missions projects and missions trips. Upon moving to Cordele, Ray joined Pinecrest Baptist Church and served on the Deacon Board. Despite the responsibilities he held, Ray also worked on the Audio TV Committee and sang with the “Men Of Pinecrest.” He was an avid outdoorsman enjoying hunting and fishing. Ray loved his family and enjoyed his time with them, especially his grandchildren. He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Kathryn Hobbs Lunsford of Cordele and a former resident of Irwin County; two daughters and their husbands, Tammy Jean and Wade George of Douglasville and Lisa Kathryn Lunsford and John David Muller of Savannah; six grandchildren, Kayla, Corin, Kiera, Kenzie, Jadon and Rosie; a sister, Linda Manry of Arlington; his mother-in-love, Betty Jean Hobbs of Irwin County; two brothers-in-love and their wives, Wayne and Joy Hobbs and Greg and Susan Hobbs, all of Irwin County; and numerous loving nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, he was also preceded in death by his father-in-love, T.M. Hobbs of Irwin County. A celebration to honor and remember the life he lived will be held at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 10 at Pinecrest Baptist Church in Cordele. The committal service will follow in Big Creek Church Cemetery in Irwin County. The family will receive friends Monday, Nov. 9 from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. at Rainey Family Funeral Services. Flowers will be accepted but those desiring to send memorials may send them to Pinecrest Baptist Church, 1007 East 19th Avenue, Cordele, GA 31015 or to the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation, c/o Crisp County Fire and Rescue, 112 Eddie Road, Cordele, Georgia 31015 Arrangements are by Rainey Family Funeral Services. An online guestbook is available atwww.raineyfuneral.com.