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West Orange Times & Observer Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021 1 month ago

Obituary: James "Ray" Meeks

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Mr. Meeks, 91, died Oct. 20, 2021.
by: Amy Quesinberry Community Editor

James “Ray” Meeks, born March 31, 1930, passed from this life to the loving arms of his Lord and Savior on Oct. 20, 2021.

Ray was born near Opp, Alabama. His parents, Jesse and Alzie Meeks, raised Ray and his nine siblings to work hard and appreciate family. Ray began service in the U.S. Army and Army reserve until his Honorable Discharge in 1956.

After serving in Germany, he moved to Orlando, where he met the love of his life, Ouida Caraway, who was born and raised in Slocomb, Alabama. They were married July 4, 1954.

Ray and Ouida were blessed with four sons, Monte, Alan (deceased), Eddie and Mark. Ray worked as a machinist at Continental Can Company in Winter Garden and moved his growing family to nearby Ocoee in 1959.

With a mixture of a strong hand and loving arms, Ray and Ouida raised their four sons in Ocoee. Ray stayed busy with his family, work and a life of service. He was a lieutenant with the Ocoee Volunteer Fire Department and a paramedic. He was Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 217 of the Boy Scouts of America, taught Sunday School at Ocoee United Methodist Church and was a member of American Legion Post 109.

He worked tirelessly on several rental properties he and Ouida acquired. His company newspaper knew of Ray’s activities and wrote an article titled, “18 Hour Days is Nothing to Meeks.” Ray retired from Continental Can Company after 34 years and in 1995 moved to Windermere.

He enjoyed traveling with his family throughout the United States, Europe, Hong Kong and the Philippines.

Ray is survived by wife, Ouida (87); sons, Monte (66), Eddie (64) and Mark (61); sister, Sybil Harrison (84); three daughters-in-law; 12 grandchildren; and 16 great-grandchildren. He is predeceased by his parents, eight sibling, and son James “Alan” Meeks.

Ray was a man of uncommon physical strength even into his 90s. That was only matched by his love for his family, his hospitality and his diligence.

The funeral was Oct. 24, 2021, at Woodlawn Cemetery.

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Amy Quesinberry is the community editor of the West Orange Times & Observer and the Windermere Observer. She was born and raised in Winter Garden, grew up reading the community newspaper and has been employed there as a writer, photographer and editor since 1990....

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