Delta Kappa's Charlie Ray honored posthumously
Ray awarded the Earl D. Rhodes Theta Chi for Life Award
On the weekend of Oct. 22-24, during Ball State University’s homecoming, Theta Chi Fraternity posthumously honored Charlie Ray (Delta Kappa/Ball State 1955) with the Earl D. Rhodes Theta Chi for Life Award. This award, considered the second highest in Theta Chi, recognizes impactful service spanning many decades. As a devoted mentor, chapter adviser, and Alumni Corporation President, Brother Ray remained a committed and stable force at Delta Kappa Chapter.
Brothers at Delta Kappa Chapter described Brother Ray’s main Theta Chi legacy and most valuable contribution as being an active teacher and positive role model to collegiate brothers and other alumni. He loved interacting with collegiate brothers, making sure they were given instruction on how to present themselves as gentlemen, as collegiate and chapter leaders, respecting women, being responsible, and the paramount importance of getting a solid college education.
One of Charlie's accomplishments was spearheading the initial fundraising campaign that positioned the chapter financially, providing an opportunity to purchase Delta Kappa’s first traditional fraternity house in 2012.
Delta Kappa Chapter's top alumni award is named in his honor: The Charles Ray Award recognizes outstanding service to the chapter over an extended period of time.
In fall 2011, Brother Ray also supported his grandson, Clark Dalton (Delta Pi/Indiana State 2015), who began recruiting students to revive Delta Pi Chapter and attended Delta Pi’s reinstallation in 2013 and pinned the Badge on Clark.
Past International Historian Brad Burk presented the Rhodes Theta Chi for Life Award to Charlie's children, Bruce Ray and Diane Ray Dalton.
In honor of Brother Ray's service to Theta Chi, we include his obituary.
Muncie - MUNCIE - Charles Austin Ray passed away on Friday, May 8, 2020 after recently suffering a stroke and was hospitalized. Charlie or C-Ray fought bravely to be released from IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital so he could get back to his home and begin his journey "on his terms", to join his beloved wife Jan in heaven.
Charlie was born on April 9, 1932, to Judd and Juanita Ray in Decatur, Indiana. He met the love of his life at Royerton High, Jan Ellen Madill. They were married for 58 wonderful years. Charlie was a member of High Street Methodist Church for more than 50 years.
He is survived by his children, Bruce (Kathy) Ray (Pendleton, IN) and Diane (James) Dalton (Fishers, IN), grandchildren, Austin (Tory) Ray, Ashley Ray (David) Faller, Clark (Kaitlyn Knoblock) Dalton, Cole (Kathryn Lipke) Dalton, Jessica (Nick Davis) Compton. He is also survived by great-grandchildren, Adelyne, Cardamon, Grayson, Madison, Marley, Kenzie, Lexie, Dalton and Ashton, siblings, Barbara (Richard) Poland, James (Joyce) Ray, and Janet Hahn, along with many nieces and nephews.
Charlie was preceded in death by his wife Jan (Madill) Ray, his parents, and granddaughter, Summer Nicole Ray.
After graduating from Royerton High School in 1950, he went on to study education at Ball State University. He obtained both his Bachelor's Degree and Master's Degree from BSU. While at Ball State, he joined the Delta Kappa Chapter of Theta Chi Fraternity and subsequently held many notable roles, most proudly serving as long-time President of the Ball State Theta Chi Alumni Corporation. He also served as the first-ever President Emeritus of the BSU OX Alumni Corporation. As one of the most popular and active Theta Chi Brothers, he received numerous top-level awards from both the chapter and the national fraternity. Moreover, The Ball State Chapter's top alumni award is named in his honor, "The Charles Ray Award." The award recognizes outstanding service to the chapter over an extended period of time.
One of Charlie's accomplishments was spearheading the initial fundraising campaign that positioned the chapter financially, in a way that eventually led to the purchase of the first ever fraternity house in 2012. Despite his numerous titles, awards and accomplishments, Charlie's Fraternity Brothers described his main Theta Chi legacy and most valuable contribution as being an active teacher and positive role model to the undergraduates and other alumni. He so loved interacting with undergraduates, making sure that they were given instruction on how to present themselves as gentlemen, as collegiate and chapter leaders, respecting women, being responsible, and the paramount importance of getting a solid college education. Charlie was also instrumental in reestablishing the Delta Pi Chapter of Theta Chi at Indiana State University.
After graduation Charlie landed his first job as an elementary teacher at Desoto Elementary which turned in to a 45- year career as teacher and administrator between Delaware Community School Corporation and Muncie Community Schools. He spent the majority of his career at Muncie Central High School where he had oversight of the TV Retrieval, AV Operations and Media Center. Charlie was also a passionate Bearcat athletics fan and always assisted the basketball and football teams by videotaping their games.
Additional photo: In 2006, Brother Ray, bottom center, joins other Delta Kappa Chapter brothers for a group photo during the closing banquet of the 150th Anniversary Convention at Norwich University.
For many years during his tenure at MCHS, Charlie was the Student Council sponsor. Already a shining light amongst the student body he took the council to new heights and was recognized as the IASC 1994 Student Council High School Advisor of the Year.
Charlie was very passionate about helping young adults find their path in life. One way of doing this was his involvement in various leadership camps through Leaders for Life International. Through the years, Charlie worked as an advisor/presenter at Camp Cheley in Colorado and often sponsored youth. Many attendees kept in regular communication with him and share their personal life successes they attributed to his mentoring and their relationship with him.
He owned and operated Muncie Irrigation Company, Inc. for nearly 40 years and Ink Solution of Muncie. He was a member of Scottish Rite Valley of Indianapolis and Delaware Masonic Lodge #46.
Services will be private due to the Covid-19 restrictions. Burial will be held in Gardens of Memory Cemetery, North of Muncie.
A Celebration of Life for the public will be held at a later date.
The family would like to express their deep appreciation to Ronda Reum and all Charlie's caregivers through the years.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be sent to High Street United Methodist Church, 219 S. High Street, Muncie, IN 47305 or Leaders for Life International, P.O. Box 44, Clinton, NY 13323. Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.meeksmortuary.com.