Marcus Ray Blakely, 75, passed away on April 27, 2018. He was born on April 26, 1943 in Nashville, Ark., the fourth son of the late Henry Marcus and Leone Elder Blakely. He was preceded in death by two brothers, Bob Blakely and Roy Blakely.
Ray was a graduate of the Nashville High class of 1961. He then attended Henderson State University and served in the Marine Corps Reserves before beginning his working life on Main Street in Nashville. He owned a men’s clothing store for ten years and later worked at Southwest Arkansas Furniture before purchasing the business in 1994. He retired from the furniture business in 2011 and began his career as a real estate agent at the age of 69.
He was a lifelong member of First Baptist Church and had served as a deacon and Sunday School teacher of boys’ and young men’s classes. Ray was also a faithful community volunteer. He served on the Nashville Economic Development Committee and, for many years, served on the boards of both Howard Memorial Hospital and the Howard Memorial Hospital Foundation. Ray was the chairman of the building committee for both the new hospital and the first Medical Clinic building on the current Howard Memorial campus. He was also a member of the Board of Visitors at The University of Arkansas Cossatot Community College. Ray was selected as the Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year in 1999.
He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Shirley Hartsfield Blakely and his children, Marc Blakely and his wife, Danielle, of Centennial, CO, and Laura Blakely Harrison and her husband, Matt of Rogers, AR. Other survivors include four grandchildren, Ashlyn and Kaitlyn Dooley, Josephine Blakely and Blakely Harrison. Two brothers, Bill Blakely and Ronny Blakely, also survive him.
Ray quietly dealt with bladder cancer, its complications and treatments for 15 years and still found time to golf with his buddies and enjoy his family. The family wishes to thank Dr. Konstantinos Arnaoutakis and China Allen, RN, of UAMS Cancer Institute, Dr. Matthew Campbell of MD Anderson Cancer Center, Dr. Glen Rountree, and Dr. John Hearnsberger. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Howard Memorial Hospital Foundation or the First Baptist Church Operation Christmas Child Fund.
Visitation was from 5-7 p.m. on Saturday, April 28, at Latimer Funeral Home in Nashville.
Funeral Services were held on Sunday, April 29, at 2 p.m. at First Baptist Church in Nashville with Bro. Kevin Sartin and Bro. David Blase officiating. Burial followed at Nashville Cemetery under the direction of Latimer Funeral Home in Nashville.
You may send an online message at www.Latimerfuneralhome.com.