Friday evening, October 4, 2019, Ray E. Marley, 87, of Flora Vista New Mexico died in his home surrounded by his wife Mary and his three children. His memorial services will be held Saturday, October 12, two p.m. at the Farmington New Mexico First Presbyterian Church.
Mr. Marley was born in Stringtown Oklahoma, the eldest son of Ray and Ruby Marley, and from an early age was taught the value of hard work, faith in God and staying true to your word. The family was extremely poor and were the very definition of subsistence farmers. Graduating from Nashoba Oklahoma High School in 1949 he went to college at Eastern Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College in Wilburton until enlisting in the Air Force in 1951. He served stateside and also in Korea, Japan, Okinawa and the Philippines for the next four years until moving to Wyoming and enrolling at Casper College in 1955.
While going to college and working as an ambulance driver he met his future wife Mary in 1956 and they wed in June of 1957, moving to Laramie to continue their studies at the University of Wyoming, where Mr. Marley graduated with a B.S. in electrical engineering in 1959.
After graduation he moved the family to Los Angeles where he was employed by Hughes Aircraft teaching Field Engineers the air to air fire control systems of the Hughes missiles until the lure of the Far North beckoned and in the summer of 1960 moved his family to Anchorage Alaska where he worked for the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA). Over the next nearly thirty years there were few parts of the state that Mr. Marley did not travel to, and in the early days he had the distinction of having been transported by some of Alaska’s legendary bush pilots. He was instrumental in the construction and maintenance of many navigational facilities ranging from the north slope to the pan handle and from the Aleutian chain all the way up the west coast.