He was born Sept. 17, 1930, in St. Louis, son of Walter and Ester Beestrum Tipsword. He and Ginette Siry were married April 1, 1955, in Laon, France.
Ray served in the United States Air Force during Vietnam, retiring in 1972. After retiring from the Air Force, he worked as an aircraft technician 18 years at Northrop-Grumman in California.
He and his wife moved to Jackson in 2003. He enjoyed walking, playing cards, woodworking, fixing things and just about any craft working with his hands. He was a member of the retired Air Force Sergeant's Association, and an active member of Alliance Francaise French Club in California.
Loving survivors include his wife of nearly 56 years; a daughter, Dominique (Kevin) Priester of Jackson; three grandchildren, Kelly (Adam) Cox of Cape Girardeau, Zachary Priester of Jackson, Shay Priester of St. Louis; a brother, Jack (Mary) Tipsword of Dothan, Ala.; a brother-in-law, Claude (Ginette) Siry of France; and two great-grandchildren, Connor and Olivia.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Friends may call from 5 to 8 p.m. today at the chapel of McCombs Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Jackson.
Interment will be at a later date at Missouri State Veterans Cemetery in Bloomfield, with full military honors.
Memorials may be made to Missouri Veterans Home in Cape Girardeau.
Sympathy messages may be sent to the family online at www.mccombsfuneralhome.com.