Ray Alkire of Walkersville died on Dec. 1, 2012, of what seemed to be a broken heart after losing the love of his life only 38 days ago.
He was born March 26, 1919, a son of the late Okey and Avis McClain Alkire. Ray graduated from Walkersville High School with the class of 1939.
Ray proudly served in the U.S. Army with the 6th Armored Division 69th Armored Field Artillery. He saw action in Africa and Italy, including Sicily, the Battle of Monte Cassino and the invasion at Anzio. He held the rank of Sergeant and earned the Silver Star, 2 Bronze Stars and the Purple Heart. He carried German shrapnel in his left arm to his final day.
On July 4, 1945, Ray married his high school sweetheart, Juanita Squires, in Martinsburg. This began a simple life of hard work and self-employment with Juanita. Throughout the years, Ray and Juanita owned and operated the Tradewinds Drive-In in Beckley, Juanita's Coffee Shop in Weston and the Dinette and Ray's Esso/Exxon in Walkersville.
Ray was preceded in death by his wife, Juanita, on Oct. 25, 2012, his parents and two sisters.
Surviving him are daughters Janet Johnson and Debbie Kafer; sons-in-law Joe Johnson and August Kafer; granddaughter Samantha Bradley and her husband, Nick; precious great-granddaughter Lucy Grey Bradley, all of Parkersburg; niece Avis Hewitt of Grand Rapids, Mich.; and nephew Barry Mitchell and his wife, Pat, of Parker, Colo.
The family extends heartfelt thanks to Ray and Juanita's loving caregivers: Tammy, Alice Righter, Darla Bills, Linda McCumbers and Ray's closest friend, Steve Prince.
In accordance with Ray's wishes, there will be no visitation or service. After cremation, his and Juanita's ashes will be buried at the Long Point Cemetery in Walkersville.
Ray would want you to spend extra time with your family and loved ones. He was happiest when his family was home.