Ray Willard Lathrop

Ray Willard Lathrop, age 98, of Cypress, Texas, passed away Sunday, January 9, 2022. He was born September 3, 1923, in Buffalo, Texas to parents Floyd and Lina Lathrop who preceded him in death along with his wife, Bertha Marie Lathrop.

Ray was one of ten children, four girls and six boys. He completed his third-grade education and taught himself how to read ad write before he and his siblings had to start working on their family farm in order to put food on the table. He left home in the 1930s and went to work for Brackston Furniture Store in Houston as a carpenter. Ray then wnet to CC Camp in Humble. Texas for three years where he worked for the government. He later received a draft letter requesting he report to Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio to the Army. From San Antonio, Ray reported to Camp Polk in Louisiana where he trained and reported to General George Patton. He was then sent to San Diego where he trained on amphibious assault vehicles. He was then transferred to Camp Lucky Stripe in Paris before departing to serve in Berlin and Czech Republic. Ultimately, Ray returned home to Texas after his service to our country ended.

Survivors include his daughters, Betty Kelly and Kathy Tutko; grandchildren, Steven Kelly and wife Marcy, Lisa Reid and husband Eric, Tina Norton – Bagwell and husband Billy Joe, Betsy Tutko – Gilmore and husband Elgin, Jimmy Pruett and husband Jesse Night; great grandchildren, Pierce and Ethan Shipp, Larissa Freeland, Dillon and Logan Reid, Jeremy Buckner and wife Kathrine, Chelsea Males and husband Dalton and Robert Norton; great – great grandchildren, Bradok and Marek Freeland, Kailum and Kase Males, Jacob Pruett, Conner and Justin Gilmore, Aspen Norton, Carter and Carmen Laney.

A graveside service will be held at 1:00 p.m., Friday, January 14, 2022, at Bear Creek Cemetery, Cleveland, Texas. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Bear Creek Cemetery.

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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