If men were measured by how much they loved, how much they were loved, and the number of on-the-verge-of-unbelievably-crazy-and-hilarious-stories, Rickey Ray would be richer than Donald Trump. (Trump, who Rickey would probably not vote for…but Hillary? Nice time to exit, Dad.)
Rickey Ray was a proud Vietnam veteran and United States Marine. He was second in his whole battalion, second only because he had a tough time following orders when he first enlisted in 1972. While his wise-cracking attitude sometimes worked against him, Rickey worked hard to become a sharpshooter and proudly served the country he loved. Rickey was an even prouder father and grandfather. He entered his daughter’s life when she was seven but embraced her as his own from the start. He attended plays, cheer leading practices, field trips, and football games. He stood next to fellow parents cheering from the bleachers always with the collar and sleeves of his Seabreeze High School t-shirts cut off. And when his daughter headed to college, Rickey traded his Alabama sweatshirt for a Florida State one. Rickey told tall tales starring colorful characters with outcomes that would leave listeners in awe with tears of laughter streaming down their face. His friends and family can quote some of his famous stories, or tell you about others they witnesses first hand. Rickey most loved telling stories about his granddaughter. Two days after Rickey’s 59th birthday, he was given a granddaughter who he believed hung the moon. Rickey and his granddaughter were partners in crime, often spoiling appetites with copious amounts of sour Skittles and staying up way past bed time to watch movies they’d seen a million times. The number one girl in Rickey Ray’s life though, was his long time significant other. After over 23 years together, that man loved his lady more than any love story ever written. Flowers just because, playful teasing, and hugs that were a little too tight and long, never faded. Rickey’s love for Anne is what a daughter and granddaughter should be exposed to. It’s the kind of love that every woman deserves and hopes for. The kind that makes 23 years fly by and seem like not nearly enough time. Everyone who knows Rickey Ray will also call him a loyal, passionate, and funny friend (they’ll also call him a hard ass) and a loving family man. Rickey is survived by his girls: Anne Cox (significant other), Allison Cox (daughter), and Mila Cox (granddaughter); his mother, Mary Pantconi; sister and brother-in-law, Paula “Kay” and Ron Hudson; brother, James “David” Hannah; brother and sister-in-law Jeffery “Toby” and Valorie Hannah; many nieces and nephews; and too many friends to count. Rickey Ray’s family will be hosting a celebration of his life at Frank’s Place in Ormond by the Sea, 1544 Ocean Shore Blvd, Ormond Beach, FL 32176, on Sunday, August 21st, starting at 1PM. Please feel free to stop by.