Raymond (Ray) Charles Britten, 97, of Groom, TX passed away on April 27, 2020, at his home with family by his side.
Private funeral mass will be celebrated on Saturday, May 2, 2020 at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Groom with Rev. Raj Samala as celebrant and private graveside services will be at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in Groom. Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers, 2800 Paramount Blvd, Amarillo. Viewing at the funeral home will be from 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., on Thursday, April 30, 2020, and Friday, May 1, 2020. A memorial celebration is being planned at a later date.
Ray was born on May 23, 1922, in Groom, Texas, to Bernard and Josephine Britten. He graduated from Groom High School in 1939. He was a lifelong member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Church where he married the love of his life, Alice Homer on August 23, 1949. They had celebrated 69 years of marriage before she passed away in October 2018. The quote “the most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother” is how our daddy lived every day of his married life.
He served in World War II from 1942-1945 in the 739th tank division. He participated in the Canal Light Tank Project Camp in Boise, Arizona. He served overseas in Northern France, Central Europe Campaigns, Ardennes and Rhineland battles. He told many stories of his army life including sailing to Europe on the Queen Mary and standing on Omaha Beach in France the day after D-Day.
Ray was most passionate about two things, his family and farming. He loved us all so well and gave us the greatest example of how life should be lived. He LOVED kids and was always a kid at heart himself. We could publish a book with his many sayings but these are some of our favorites about kids: “There ain’t nothin’ better in this whole world than kids–no amount of money is better than kids”; “When we have a big get-together the whole floor is covered with little kids–best thing you can cover it with”; “Most people think kids are always under foot & in the way, but kids never bothered me–that’s the way kids are supposed to be”; “The best thing in the world is waking up in the morning & hearing kids playing in the next room & seeing their shoes laying all over the place–then you know there’s kids here and life is much better.” At his 95th birthday party, he pointed to his wife, kids, grandkids and great-grandkids and said, “I don’t need to make a wish. I have everything I ever wanted right here!”
He depicted the true picture of the American farmer. He began driving a combine at 11 years old, took 3 years off to serve his country, then continued for a total of 84 years. In 2017 he completed his 72nd year of consecutive harvesting. He said he never “worked” a day in his life because he loved what he did so much. But if you asked him what was the best part of farming, he’d always answer, “Coming home and my kids saying ‘daddy’s home, daddy’s home!’”
He never complained about anything and always pointed out that old age wasn’t an affliction –it was a privilege! He always said, “I may be old, but I don’t have to act it.” Once he was asked to tell his secret to a long life & he replied, “Keep breathing!” He was a living legend, our hero, hard-working, loyal, loving, kind, honest, giving, funny, faithful, humble and dedicated. We praise God for his almost 98 wonderful years. He was a blessing to us all!
He was preceded in death by his parents, siblings Margaret Babcock, Tom Britten, Leona Newsom, and Louise Acker, daughter-in-law, Linda Rae Anthony Britten and granddaughter, Bridgette Rene Britten.
He is survived by three brothers, Jiggs Britten of Groom, James Britten of White Deer and Melvin Britten of Duncan, OK; five children, Donny & wife Glenda of San Juan Capistrano, CA, Tony & wife Wamyth of Groom, Hop & wife Jan of Groom, Kathy Stoerner & husband Wayne of Trophy Club, TX, and Sandi Schaefers & husband Gene of Mesquite, TX; 17 grandchildren, Eric Britten of Fountain Valley, CA, Jelene & Jim Ogden of Oak Park, IL, Brad Britten and William Britten of San Juan Capistrano, CA, Karri & Jesse Wieners of Groom, Lorri & John Connelly of Groom, Sharri & Mitch Meyer of Hereford, TX, Korri & Trenton Packard of Groom, Sara & Cody Hudson of Groom, Travis & Echo Britten of Sequim, WA, Katy & Josh Wesley of Waco, TX, Brody & Rebecca Britten of Groom, Kalli & Philip Sterling of Trophy Club, TX, Chad & Barbara Stoerner of Richardson, TX, Jenny Schaefers & fiance, Mark Ohl of Dallas, TX. Jessica Schaefers of Westborough, MA, and Allyson Schaefers of Houston, TX; 23 great-grandchildren Westley Ogden, Kinzee, Eli, Ava & Josie Wieners, Addison & Jackson Connelly, Maddie & Benjamin Meyer, Todd & Raelyn Packard, Cade & Colby Linquist, Caydence Hudson, Oliver Britten, Liam & Norah Wesley, Jerome Britten, Alyssa & Trevor Sterling, Haddie, Everly & Violet Stoerner, many devoted nieces and nephews and a special little buddy, Clyde Carter.
The family asks that any charitable gifts be made in his name to Groom Helping Hands Food Pantry, PO Box 616, Groom, TX 79039 or Groom Ambulance Service, City of Groom, PO Box 127, Groom, TX 79039.