Ray Lee Satterfield

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 18, 2008

Pottsboro, Texas

After years of struggling against the cruel ravages of diabetes, Ray Lee Satterfield died Tuesday morning, Feb. 12, 2008, at home in the secure comfort of his own bed.

Ray was born 10 weeks prematurely on Jan. 26, 1956, to Alvin Daniel and Betty Ray Satterfield in Birmingham. Ray grew up living next door to his maternal grandparents in Columbiana. They helped shape his character and instilled in him an impeccable sense of values. They, along with his parents, taught Ray to hold sacred his family, his heritage and his good name.

Without abandoning his Alabama roots, Ray became a Texan in 1978. He worked for 16- and-a-half years at Kraft Foods in Sherman until the plant closed, and then for Libby Owens Ford until that plant also closed. It was during this time that Ray discovered his passions for Civil War re-enacting and the Sons of Confederate Veterans, affiliations through which he met many of his closest friends.

He proudly served the SCV locally and on the state level as Texas Division Adjutant. He was honored to be named Texas Division “Confederate of the Year” for 1999-2000, and later became a life member.

Ray also belonged to the Descendants of Confederate Veterans and the Sons of the American Revolution.

Being a contented bachelor, Ray was caught completely off-guard in late 1995 when he met his special lady. On Oct. 19, 1996, Ray married Miss Elizabeth Anne Black in the Confederate wedding ceremony of their dreams.

Their home, Sattermoor Hall, was built on the family ranch, K-Bar-K, near Pottsboro.

Making use of his trademark courage and strong work ethic, Ray began a new career in 1999 when he enrolled in the Dallas Institute of Funeral Science to become a funeral director. He completed his internship, but never had the opportunity to work as a licensed funeral director due to declining health.

With his wife’s loving support and encouragement, Ray adapted his life to each vicious assault inflicted by diabetes; eyesight that faded to shadows, the necessity of nightly peritoneal dialysis treatments at home and finally the amputation of both legs.

Through it all, Ray never lost his will to fight for a better tomorrow.

He loved Friday night high school football and rooting for his beloved University of Alabama Crimson Tide. He also enjoyed simple diversions like having an old-fashioned southern meal at Cracker Barrel with his wife.

Ray leaves behind his heart-broken wife, Elizabeth; his mother, Betty Ray Satterfield and sister, Debbie, both of Columbiana; half brothers, Gary and Danny Satterfield; Aunt Vivian Fasig of Sherman; Uncle Charles Ray of Columbiana; numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

Ray will also be desperately missed by his Persian cat, Alastair, a panther want-to-be and his adored “son” Matthew, a very special Pembroke Welsh Corgi.

Ray was greeted in heaven by his father; grandparents Floyd and Mayo Ray and Ovie and Flonnie Satterfield; aunts, Oma and Faye Nell, and uncles, Ovie Jr., Bob, Jack and Bill.

Ray’s family received friends Saturday, Feb. 16 from 6-8 p.m. at Waldo Funeral Home in Sherman. Services were held at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Georgetown Baptist Church, conducted per Ray’s personal request by honorary brother-in-law Scott Galyon. Burial followed in the Black Family Cemetery on K-Bar-K Ranch near Pottsboro, where Ray’s closest friends will conduct his final tribute. The register book can be signed online at http://waldofuneralhome.com.

Ray will be escorted to his final rest by southern brothers, Tom Jones, Daryl Coleman, Gary Bray, Preston Furlough, Dan Bray, John Hill, Eugene Hauptman and Dale Forshee. Honorary pallbearers will be Ralph Green and Steve Lucas.

As I face life without my Ray, I am so very grateful for the compassion and many kindnesses shown to both of us during Ray’s final months; to Dr. Reynolds, thank you for always telling Ray the truth without ever robbing him of hope; to Ray’s devoted nurse, Christine Hogan, thank you for lovingly administering to Ray’s comfort needs and diligently protecting his dignity; and finally to my parents, Kent and Karen Black, words can not adequately convey the overwhelming gratitude I feel for loving my Ray and helping me to keep him at home, safe and secure, with me