Credit: Contributed photo
Keith Ray will serve as White Bird Days grand marshal 2014.
As of Tuesday, June 10, 2014
WHITE BIRD — Longtime White Bird resident, Keith Ray, was chosen to represent the community during White Bird Days June 14-15 as the grand marshal.
Ray was born 77 years ago in Sheridan, Mo. He was the second child of Willie and Doris Ray following his sister Willa and finally a younger brother Jack. He attended school there before heading to Idaho in the ‘50s.
He landed in Payette, where he lived with an aunt and uncle and worked in a corn cannery. From Payette, he moved to Weiser and worked for a camper trailer manufacturing company. He has lived in many places and eventually moved to White Bird more than 60 years ago. The move to White Bird took him to a 12-year job driving a logging truck for Ida-Pine.
His parents and brother eventually joined him, making White Bird their home, where they settled in and became a welcome part of the community.
He has been married to Susie since 2003 and they share four children: Ryan, Lisa, Vicki and Jerry. They enjoy five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
“Life is good,” they agreed.
Ray served as the White Bird mayor for 10 years and on the city council for two additional years. He cites the climate and the character of the citizens as the reason he loves the area. When asked for his favorite stories about living here he smiled and said, “There are too many to single out one. Some are funny, some tragic, but all are characteristic of the history and challenges, past and present. They all demonstrate the grit of people who came here and forged a life for themselves and their families.”
Ray’s life has allowed him to develop a wide range of skills working as a farm hand, logging, carpentry, electronics, as an ironworker and finally as a contractor with many wide ranging projects completed in and around White Bird. He uses these skills in his hobbies as well, and many have relied upon his computer and electronic knowledge for help, which he is generous in providing. Like so many in this area, Keith loves to hunt and fish in his free time. He is also a musician and singer and enjoys going to the local jam sessions.
When asked to represent White Bird as this year’s grand marshal, Ray’s modest response was, “To be selected by my friends and fellow White Bird citizens, I accept with honor.”