Cover photo for Ray Rainbolt's Obituary
Ray Rainbolt Profile Photo

Ray Rainbolt

May 26, 1955 — June 30, 2016

Ray Rainbolt

Ray Rainbolt was born May 26, 1955 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. He was the son of Sam Raborn and Theda Jean (Bostian) Rainbolt. Ray moved frequently with his family during his early childhood residing in Stillwater, Drumright, Cushing, and Hominy. His family moved to Cleveland when Ray was in the seventh grade completing his education here graduating from Cleveland High School in 1973. Ray was extremely active in sports earning All-State Honors in football, basketball and baseball. Ray set many records during his time in school and is one of the top 10 highest scorers in Cleveland basketball history. He was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 12th round of the Major League Baseball Draft in 1973. Ray was later united in marriage to his high school sweet-heart, Donna Lee Blake on February 2, 1974, in Cleveland, Oklahoma.

Ray began his professional baseball career pitching for a Texas Rangers minor league team. He played A ball with the Gastonia Rangers in North Carolina and the Lynchburg Hillcats. Ray then moved up to AA ball in San Antonio; playing for the Dodgers in 1976. He finished his career with the Tulsa Drillers, pitching for them from 1977 through 1979. A shoulder injury concluded his promising career in the major leagues. When playing baseball in Oklahoma, Ray was employed in Barnsdall at the Bareco Plant, at one time the world’s largest manufacturer of microcrystalline waxes. In 1980, Ray and Donna returned to Cleveland and he began working in the oil fields of Oklahoma, working for Brown Brothers Drilling for many years. He then accepted employment at Word Industries where he worked as a pipefitter for a short time before being promoted to foreman then later as superintendent. For the past thirty plus years Ray has traveled the United States working for Universal Plant Services, a comprehensive service provider for the energy industry, providing project management, installation, maintenance and repair services for rotating and fixed equipment for daily maintenance requirements, turnarounds, and capital projects spanning the United States. At the time of his death Ray was serving as an inspector for Universal Plant Services on a project in Iowa.

Ray truly enjoyed life to the fullest at every moment. His love for sports continued throughout his life as he was an avid Oklahoma Sooner, Oklahoma Thunder, and NASCAR fan. He especially enjoyed playing golf and was responsible for encouraging several of his friends to become interested in playing also. Ray always looked forward to when he would return to Oklahoma to play a round of golf with those he loved. Ray was a very hard worker and believed doing everything at 110%. Ray never seemed to meet a stranger, making friends with everyone he met; he would often provide those strangers with things they needed and would always respond “they needed that worse than I do.” It was known by everyone that if you even mentioned you needed something and Ray was aware of it, sooner or later you would have it. Ray was notorious for always remembering names and faces of those he was introduced to. Ray also felt everyone needed a second chance at things and never placed judgment on others. He had a bleeding heart for all animals. Most of all in life Ray loved his family and friends and will be greatly missed.

Ray passed away on Thursday, June 30, 2016, in Iowa City, Iowa at the age of sixty-one years.

Survivors are his wife Donna of the home; two children Heath Rayburn Rainbolt of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Chelsea Claire Ward and her husband Dustin of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; one sister Sheryl Thatcher and her husband Mike of Stillwater, Oklahoma; two grandchildren Lindsey and Chandler Ward, soon to be granddaughter Brinkley Ray Ward, mother in law Sybil Blake of Cleveland, Oklahoma; sister in law Debbie Baldwin of Kingfisher, Oklahoma; brother in law David Blake and his wife Linda of Cleveland, Oklahoma and numerous other relatives and friends that will mourn his passing. Ray was preceded in death by his parents Theda and Sam Rainbolt; grandparents Marvel and Harvey Bostian and father in law Frank Blake

Funeral services will be held on Thursday, July 7, 2016, at 2:00 pm in the Western Heights Baptist Church with Rev. David Head and Rev. Sandy Bach officiating. Lifelong friend Mike Whaley will eulogize the life of Ray. Committal services will follow in the Woodland Cemetery under the direction of Chapman-Black Funeral Home. Friends may share a memory with the family on Ray’s memorial website at

Pallbearers will include Leonard Davidson, Dustin Ward, Brad Weldon, Ronnie Holland, Martin Llamas and Kenny Blevins. Honorary pallbearers will be David Blake, Mike Thatcher, and Brian Jenkins.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ray Rainbolt, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

10:00am - 7:00 pm (Central time)

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Celebration of Life

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

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