Tilden Ray Stumbo, Surrounded by loved ones, in the peace and comfort of Brenda Stumbo's Ypsilanti, Mich. home, T.R. left this earthly life for his eternal one, in the early hours of Wed., Jan. 6, 2021. He was born Nov. 7, 1932 in Martin, KY. The youngest of four children, T.R. was a basketball star and graduate of McDowell High School. Upon graduation he joined the U.S. Army, and after serving his time with honor, in Germany, he returned home to Floyd County. A short few years later he met a beautiful Arkansas girl, Lynda Jo McMinn, who he fell in love with and married. After their first child (Ray, Jr.) was born there in Martin, KY, he moved his young family to Ypsilanti, Mich., where the couple had four more in three years, Barry, Lisa and twin boys Dale and Dean. Here too, he found his calling in life, becoming an elected public official, an entrepreneur, and land developer over the next several decades. While establishing a reputation as hard working, "a man of the people", a lover of life, and receiving numerous distinguished civic honors and awards over the years, he never forgot his eastern Kentucky roots. In his heart and mind he was never far from Star Bottom, those low-lying, fertile fields along the banks of Left Beaver Creek behind the old homestead, where he plowed the ground behind his ole mule "Toolbox" & formed his life's principles. As he made his mark, touching lives wherever he went, he tried to stay true to what he believed was man's purpose. "In my thinking," he wrote in 2005, "life is a journey through time. Our mission is to be kind to each other, love one another, spread joy and happiness among strangers, friends, and family. Comfort and help those in need and most of all, enhance our family well being with respect, love, devotion and hard work." Outside of his public service and work-related passions, dad loved the game of basketball, the groove of blues music, and oh how he loved to dance! We trust he's now dunking, grooving, and dancing to the heavenly music of God's Angel Band. Left to celebrate and continue his legacy are his sons: Ray Jr. (Meta Jo) Port Allen, LA., Barry (Michele) Lexington, KY., and Dale (Wildwood, FL); grandchildren Taylor Rae, Demoss, Dewey, Erica Jo, Erin Dean, and Kaley Jo; cousin, confidante, and best friend Brenda Stumbo (Ypsilanti, MI) and a host of wonderful family and friends spread across this great country. Preceded to eternity by his parents George Dewey and Vida Collins Stumbo (McDowell, KY); siblings Collis (Bowling Green, KY), Dewey Gilbert "Gibby" (Wabash, IN) and Oneida Hall (Belleville, MI) and children Dean (Ypsilanti, MI) and Lisa Jo Fowler (Oviedo, FL) and the precious mother of his children Lynda Jo Maddox (Wildwood, FL). When COVID restrictions lift, a joyous celebration of dad's life will be held in Ypsilanti, hopefully sometime this summer.
Published in The Advocate from Jan. 8 to Jan. 16, 2021.