In Bedford County, Ray grew up on his family farm, eventually purchasing his own farm. He raised Holstein cattle, turkeys and chickens. In the mid-1950s, Ray sold his livestock and purchased the International Harvester Dealership in Bedford.
In 1961, Ray purchased the IGA Grocery Store in Hustontown, Pa., and later that year moved it to McConnellsburg. In 1980, he purchased the Penns Village Shopping Center and built a more modern supermarket on the site. He also owned the IGA supermarket in Mifflintown, as well as co-owned the IGA in Everett and the Ben Franklin store in Mifflintown. Ray was a member of the Independent Grocery Association.
Ray was very active in his community. He was a member of St. Paul's United Church of Christ, serving as an elder and a supporter of the Old Brick Church in Friends Cove, Bedford County. Ray was a founding member of the Fulton County Industrial Development Association, of which he served 45 years as a board of director and past president in 1964. He was a member of the Fulton County Chamber of Commerce since 1959, serving as the Chamber president in 1962. Ray was honored by the Chamber of Commerce as Man of the Year and as Outstanding Citizen on two different occasions.
Ray was an active member and past president of the McConnellsburg Lions Club. In 2009, Ray was honored by the Lions Club and the Little League by naming the Little League Ballfield the Ray S. Koontz Field. He was a 61- year member of the Bedford and Mt. Zion Lodges, for which he was honored in 2008. He was also a member and supporter of the Jaffa Shrine in Altoona, Pa. Ray was a supporter of the FFA and 4-H groups in McConnellsburg. The Boy Scouts of America honored Ray as a Century Member.
As a lifelong hunter and sportsman, Ray traveled the world hunting the World Super Slam of sheep, numerous trophy whitetail deer and various bears, most notably a Montana grizzly written about in many magazines. He was a founding and active member in the Mason Dixon Chapter of the Safari Club International, a life member of the Fulton County Pistol and Rifle Club, and the Fulton County Sportsman's League.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 21, 2009, at the Central Fulton High School Auditorium in McConnellsburg, Pa. Friends may call from 2 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 20, 2009, at St. Paul's United Church of Christ, 203 E. Walnut St., McConnellsburg, PA 17233, and one hour prior to the funeral service on Friday. Interment will be held at Union Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to McConnellsburg Lions Club, P.O. Box 21, McConnellsburg, PA 17233; the McConnellsburg Volunteer Fire Co., 112 E. Maple St., McConnellsburg, PA 17233; or Tuscurora Wildlife Education Program, 4773 Fort Loudon Rd, Mercersburg, PA 17236.
Kelso-Cornelius Funeral Homes, 322 N. Second St., McConnellsburg, will be handling the arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed at www.kelso-corneliusfuneralhome.com.