Olga Ray Gobert
Surrounded by his family, Olga Ray Gobert, of Hot Springs, passed into the arms of his Savior on Friday, Aug. 24, 2012, at age 79. He was born Jan. 13, 1933, just north of Hot Springs in a small house on Hamilton Dairy Road to Zetta Carter Gobert and Aurelian Gobert.
He is survived by his loving wife of 58 1/2 years, Doris Alene DeWitt Gobert; his daughter, Deanna Carol Gobert Johnson and husband, Walter, of Travelers Rest, S.C.; his son, Olga Ray Gobert Jr. and wife, Melba Stafford Gobert, of Hot Springs; grandchildren, Ashley Nicole Johnson, Jacob Benjamin Johnson, and Kristy Marie Johnson, of South Carolina; sister, Ruby Gobert Henderson Meeks, of Bonnerdale; a very special sister-in-law, Virginia DeWitt, and niece, Lori Dewitt, of Scott City, Kan.; various nieces, nephews, cousins, in-laws; and lifelong friends, Dale Williams and Dean Stafford, both of Hot Springs. After searching most of his life for his father’s extended family, Ray was able to connect with relatives in central and southern Louisiana and is survived by numerous family members there, including a very special cousin, Connie Gobert Irwin, his loving aunt, Dot Gobert, and uncle, Oza Gobert. Another very special friend he came to know and respect is Pastor Doug Jones of First Freewill Baptist Church, Hot Springs. He is predeceased by his parents and brother, Don Orien Gobert.
Ray was a 1950 graduate of Lake Hamilton High School. On May 28, 1950, shortly after graduating from high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and proudly served his country with honors for 22 years. His service included duty in the Korean Conflict, Norway, Turkey and the Vietnam War. During his military career, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Joint Services Commendation Medal and the Air Force Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster. As a lifelong learner, he also earned many special training certificates and diplomas and numerous college credit hours through correspondence and extension classes. He retired from the military in 1972 at the rank of Chief Master Sergeant. His wife, daughter and son feel privileged to have experienced the military life with him.
Upon retirement, he returned to Arkansas, and began his second career in October 1972 when Sister Mary Werner, RSM, hired him at St. Joseph’s Hospital. He served with distinction for 23 years as the materials manager, director of materials, vice president for materiel services, and regional development consultant. He led in locating, price-negotiation, and purchasing the property for what became the St. Joseph’s Regional Health Center. He was instrumental in all phases of the new construction project, leading and coordinating the move to the new campus in 1991.
Ray and Doris enjoyed the retirement for which they had planned many years. It included cruising and traveling to various areas they had dreamed about including Hawaii, Alaska, Northern Europe, and the United Kingdom. They also visited Norway 50 years after Ray’s military service there.
He had carried Deanna’s Vacation Bible School memory verse, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), in his memory for more than 49 years. Realizing that none of us can earn salvation and eternity with God, he put his trust in Christ’s death on the cross as payment for his sins. He would want his family and friends that remain to be certain of their relationship with God.
The family would like to express deep gratitude to Crystal O’Neal, Michael Jones and the rest of the staff at Lester Dierksen Memorial Hospice, and Dr. John B. Bond, MD, for the compassionate care given to Ray during this time.
A celebration of Ray’s life will be hosted by the Gobert Family at Caruth-Hale Funeral Home today from 5-8 p.m. He will be cremated and a memorial service planned at a later time.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Ray Gobert Memorial Fund, First Freewill Baptist Church, 901 W. St. Louis, Hot Springs, AR 71913 or Lester Dierksen Memorial Hospice, 3648 Highway 7 north, Suite E, Hot Springs Village, AR 71909.
Guests may register at http://www.caruth-hale.com.