Ray Blakney, 71, of Counce, died on Friday, March 2.
He was born in Corinth, Mississippi, the son of the late of Raymond Odle Blakney and Eula Mae Carson Blakney. He was united in marriage to Kay Rich Blakney of Savannah and, though they would ultimately divorce later, the two were married for 46 years and raised two children together.
He grew up in Counce where he was a member of First Baptist Church and graduated from Pickwick Southside High School in 1964. In 1966, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and served in Vietnam. He was honorably discharged in 1968 with the rank of sergeant. Ray went on to graduate from the University of Tennessee Martin in 1971 and continued his education at the University of Memphis College of Law graduating in 1974. He practiced law in Memphis for about 15 years and served his community including, service as president of the USO, as a member of the Rotary Club, Elks Lodge, and the VFW, and as board president for the Frayser-Millington Mental Health Center. Ray went on to become an award winning sports reporter, first at The Courier in Savannah and later at The Courier News in Clinton, Tennessee.
He is survived by his daughter, Tasha Blakney of Knoxville; son, Matthew Blakney of Murfreesboro, Tennessee; four grandchildren; and brother, Lowell Blakney of Counce.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Janice Blakney Swift.
Ray Blakney was laid to rest at Shanghai Cemetery in Counce on Tuesday, March 6, where he received military honors. Shackelford Funeral Directors handled arrangements. The family expresses gratitude for any tributes you wish to make on behalf of Ray’s memory, and requests that you consider his preference that donations be made in his honor to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis or to First Baptist Church in Counce.