Ray remembered as a ‘solid rock’
Law enforcement and hundreds of people from the community came out last weekend to honor the life of Madison Central school Resource officer Corey Ray and his 22-year career in law enforcement.
Corey Evan Ray, 41, of Ridgeland, died July 14, 2021, at his home surrounded by family and friends. His mother, Karen Green Golden, said he went peacefully after a lengthy struggle with an extended illness.
Ray suffered from a rate intestinal problem and only one doctor was willing to do the surgery, his family said, extending his life another eight months. During that time, Ray made a profession of faith in Christ and was baptized in his hospital room, his family said.
“I went back to talk to Corey and told him I knew how tired he was, and what a fighter he had been since he’d been in the hospital,” his mother wrote in the Facebook group Pray for Corey Ray after they’d brought him home. “I told him it’s ok if he wanted to just rest now and stop fighting. I told him what a wonderful place Heaven is and it’s ok if he’s ready to go be with Jesus.”
His mother remembered his bright personality, sense of humor, work ethic and ability to multi-task as defining characteristics of her son.
She said her family has been through a “rough eight and half months” but knows her son is in a better place now.
“He is whole again,” Golden said.
Ray is survived by his mother and stepfather Gary as well as his father, Charles Ray and stepmother Vicki. He is also survived by his maternal grandparents, Harold and Frances Green. Ray was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Coy and Kathryn Ray.
The funeral service was held at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 17, at Broadmoor Baptist Church with a graveside service after in Jessamine Cemetery in Ridgeland.
Speakers at the service included Madison Police Chief Gene Waldrop and Asst. Chief Robert Sanders.
Waldrop said Ray was a “solid rock” as an employee, officer and community helper.
Sanders summed up his experience with Ray in his opening statement. Fighting back tears, he said, “I am going to cry a little and I am going to laugh a little because everyone here has a story about Corey.”
He said it was moving to see the people file into the funeral service because he knew Ray had touched their lives in one way or another like they had touched his and his family’s lives.
Golden said she has appreciated the outpouring of love and affection the community has shown for her son both while he was sick and in his passing. Golden said she has not been able to read a fraction of the Facebook posts remembering her son.
“I have probably not gotten to one-thousandth of the posts people have put up,” Golden said. “I will start reading one and 100 more will pop up. There have been so many sweet things said. He made this mama proud.”
Golden said many students came to his funeral service and visitation.
‘He had a way with kids and was great at what he did,” Golden said. “He loved his job. He loved his city. He loved the students and parents and the community. I have never seen someone more fit for their job and everyone loved him too.”
Golden said Ray lived with her, or, as she put it, “he had a bed here.” She said he put in long hours at the school and would often go by to check on things on holidays and his day off.
Ray was born on May 8, 1980. He graduated high school from Madison Central and joined the Madison County Sheriff's Office in the same year, 1998. He served with the Sheriff’s Office for 12 years.
In 2010 Corey Ray joined the Madison Police Department and worked in Dispatch before becoming the School Resource Officer for Madison Central High School.