Merritt Raymond “Ray” Ashcraft, 92, Kingfisher, died Wednesday, Jan 28, 2009. Ray died at Cimarron Nursing Center where he and his wife, Helen, have been living for the last few years.
He was born Dec 30, 1916 to Merritt Allen and Elsie Nancy Brown Ashcraft in Chanute.
He quit high school to join the Navy and that is where he learned his trade as an instrument maker. After 12 years in the Navy, he left at the rank of Chief Warrant Machinist, serving during World War II. He had various jobs throughout his life, one of which was the owner of a jewelry store in Dewey, Okla. Later he moved to Stillwater, Okla., and worked at OSU as an instrument maker. He enjoyed being self employed and did that for many years after leaving OSU.
He married Helen Isabel Young Nov. 26, 1952 in Stillwater. Helen is also from Chanute.
He was a member of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church prior to moving to Kingfisher in 1994. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge (Scottish Rite, Blue Lodge and York Rite) for more than 50 years. And was, also, a member of the VFW and American Legion.
Survivors include his wife, Helen; two sons, Merritt Erwin Ashcraft and wife, Nancy, of Chandler, Dan Ashcraft and wife, Tish, of Ewa Beach, Hawaii; one daughter, Sandy Matthews and husband, Tom, of Okarche; 10 grandchildren, Martin and wife, Paula, of Wylie, Texas, Stacey and husband, Barry Garrett, of Luther, Mark and wife, Shasta, of Edmond, Mike and wife, Libby, of Forest Park, Ill., Brian and wife, Sarah, of Wichita, Jenny Matthews of Shattuck, Okla., Blaine, Emily, Amber, and Timothy Matthews of Okarche; four great-grandchildren, Corbun, Megan, Evan, and Breanna, and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was a great storyteller. He made removing a splinter painless when he used his jewelry eye loop and tweezers. He liked fishing, hunting, and reading and was an avid chess player. He had the best memory ever. He loved his family, especially his wife, Helen, and he will truly be missed.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Merritt and Elsie, his son, Michael Loren Ashcraft, two sisters, Florence Deacon and husband, Mike, and Fern Ivy and husband, Thad.
Services will be graveside at the Dewey Cemetery in Dewey, Okla., on Friday, Feb. 13 at 2 p.m. Donations can be made to the VA or the Institution for the Blind.