Raymond Stevens Grant, Jr.

Raymond Stevens Grant, Jr.

August 6, 1930 – April 1, 2022

Raymond Stevens Grant, Jr. (Ray) was born on August 6, 1930, in Springfield, Massachusetts, to Dorothy Elise (Gray) Grant and Raymond Stevens Grant. He was the oldest of three children. He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Joan Elise Closs (1940-2005) and his brother Robert Ernest Grant (Bob) (1933-2017).
Ray went peacefully to be with the Lord on April 1, 2022, at his home in Helena, Alabama. Family were blessed to spend time with him at home in the days immediately prior to his death.
Ray grew up in Springfield, Massachusetts, then in Westfield, New Jersey. He graduated from Colby College in Waterville, Maine, in 1952, then from Yale Divinity School in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1956. Ray was active in the National Student Council of the YMCA. While serving as its President, he was invited to accept a one year position at the World’s Alliance of the YMCA, whose headquarters were in Geneva, Switzerland. He was vital in preparing for the International Centennial Convention that was held in August 1955, in Paris, France. This one year assignment was between his junior and senior years at Yale Divinity School. After completing that work, Ray returned from Paris and completed his final year at Yale and was ordained as a United Methodist Minister.
Ray first served as pastor in Frenchtown, New Jersey, then in numerous pastorates in Kansas. Ray served as Kansas City District Superintendent, then moved to Topeka, Kansas, to serve Lowman United Methodist Church for 12 years. Ray then retired from the Kansas East Conference and accepted the position of full time Chaplain at Aldersgate Village, a United Methodist Retirement Home in Topka. He had served as President of the Board of Trustees, so he had a good understanding of the home. Ray served 44 years in ministry. While in Topeka, Ray served as board member, then President of Habitat for Humanity. During his 13 years with Habitat, 36 houses were built in Topeka, as well as many renovated. In 2000, Ray retired again, and moved to Helena, Alabama to be near family.
Ray was married to Joyce Gill in 1955 and they had two children before they divorced in 1970. Catherine Ellen (Grant) Farah has one son, Christopher William Mitchell and Gregory Thomas Grant (Stephanie) has two children, Cameron Raye Grant and Sydney Grace Grant. Cathy and Greg were grown when Ray remarried.
Ray married Marilyn Cordell Grant (Lyn) on June 5, 1983. Ray and Lyn have been married 39 happy years. Lyn had two children, Judith Elaine (Meyers) Evans (Scott) and Michelle Helene (Meyers) Schneider. Judee has two children, Marilyn Frances Evans and William Henry Evans. Michelle has one son, David Ray (Davey) Schneider. Judee and Michelle were blessed to grow up with Ray as their stepdad.
Ray enjoyed music, having been in several high school musicals and attending shows on Broadway in his early years. He played the piano, sang in the choir at Lowman UMC, and played in the bell choir. Lyn, Judee, and Michelle enjoyed hearing him play the piano at home. He served as President of the Homeowners Association for 10 years where he lived in Helena. Ray was a leader, an organizer, an administrator, and a wonderful pastor. He loved people and always had a smile on his face. He was good at remembering names and at greeting everyone he met. He was a very caring man and would help you in any way he could. He was also quite a storyteller and the grandchildren enjoyed hearing stories from his early years. His most recent project was working on family genealogies and recording many of his stories.
Ray and Lyn enjoyed many activities together in Topeka and in Helena. They ushered for numerous events in Topeka and attended operas, community events, and of course church events. They were a team and enjoyed serving together. They continued to usher in Birmingham, serving at Red Mountain Theater and Virginia Samford Theater until Ray could no longer attend. Family, travel, music, and theater were their favorite times. Trips to see Michelle in California, Cathy in Charleston, SC, and Greg in Jacksonville,FL were made as often as possible. Judee lived up the street, so travel was not required. The entire family spent time in Maine whenever they could. Ray’s parents were from Maine and he had grown up spending lots of time there with extended Grant family. It was a very special place for him to be with his own family!
Ray and Lyn attended First United Methodist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, the church where Lyn grew up. They were members of the Ecclesia-Wingard Sunday School class.
According to Ray himself, he lived a happy life. Ray always had a smile on his face and a story to tell. He was dearly loved by his family and his many friends and colleagues. He will be missed very much, but his family is thankful and blessed to have had him, his love, caring, positive influence and his wonderful smile in their lives for so many years!
A Celebration of Life service will be held on May 7, 2022 at First United Methodist Church, 518 19th Street North, Birmingham, Alabama, 35203. Visitation will be from 12:00-12:45 pm in the chapel. The service will be at 1:00 pm in the sanctuary.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to UMCOM, United Methodist Committee on Relief. This organization helps in many countries where people are hurting, such as Ukraine presently. Here is a link: Https://umcmission.org/UMCOR

6 thoughts on “Raymond Stevens Grant, Jr.

  1. Ray Grant was among the finest pastors in Kansas. We were honored to be in a pastors & wives support group for nearly 40 years with Lyn & Ray up until his death. We celebrated the good times & walked through the pain with each other through the dark times. Thank you Ray Grant for your gifts & graces. He was a true disciple of our Lord. With Love,
    Elaine & Virgil Brady

  2. Dear Lyn,
    Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ as you grieve Ray’s death. You had such a good marriage, and this has to be very hard.
    I have such good memories of you and Ray and Michelle during you time here in Topeka. When I was at Grantville, Ray very hesitantly agreed to preach one Sunday so Stanley and I could get away for a weekend. It sadly turned out that he had three or four Aldersgate funerals the week before! I should have at least treated him to lunch! Of course, Michelle was my first introduction to you and Ray when she and Byron were in the same grade at Whitson where they , along w/ Shannon Polly, always represented the school in the state math contest. Later, I got to know you when you served as an excellent Children’s Director at Topeka First.
    I hold you and your family in prayer for the comfort and peace only God can give.
    God be with you,
    Sandy Vogel

  3. Ray was a fine colleague and effective pastor and leader in the old Kansas East Conference. I first met Ray as my district superintendent during my candidacy for ministry. He was encouraging and helpful to this young up-start. His influence continues in all those he served.
    David Watson, retired UM pastor

  4. Ray was a dear colleague and friend, when he served in the Kansas Area. While I served on the Kansas West Conference staff, we worked together on the Missouri-Kansas Human Sexuality Seminar Committee. Ray was an amazing pastor, district superintendent, and a faithful friend/mentor to so many! May God Bless the memory of his ministry on earth, as surely as he is welcomed within the Realm of the Eternal+++

  5. Ray was a significant pastor and leader. I founded Habitat for Humanity in Topeka, but Ray came on board as President and served valiantly. He enabled his church and members to strongly support the East Topeka UMC mission church and Fellowship, Inc. which I served for 11 years. May Ray rest in peace!!
    Fred Stone Craig

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