Cover photo for William Magness's Obituary
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1930 William 2023

William Magness

November 2, 1930 — July 5, 2023

William Ray Magness


William Ray Magness, 92, passed away on Wednesday, July 5th, 2023. He was born November 2nd, 1930 in Farwell, Texas to Chester Luther Magness and Amy Daniels Magness. Ray graduated from Farwell High School in 1950. During his high school years, Ray drove the Farwell school bus and he served as a volunteer fire fighter. Following high school Ray joined the U.S. Airforce and served at Kirtland Airforce base in Albuquerque. In 1952, Ray's father had a massive heart attack. Ray was discharged from the Airforce in April of that year so he could return to Farwell and run the family farm.

Ray met Maralee Joanne Bonds in Clovis, New Mexico in 1956. They were married on December 27th, 1956 and were married for more than 66 years. They have 3 children, 10 grandchildren, and 19 great-grandchildren. Ray loved his family and he loved to spend time with them. He loved family cookouts, birthdays, and camping trips. His loved ones always came first and he loved any excuse to be with his children and their families. He also loved going to family reunions.

Ray joined the New Mexico State Police in 1962 and was an officer on the force in Santa Rosa. Over the course of 22 years, Ray was promoted to Lieutenant as he served in Santa Rosa, Kirtland, Roswell, and Hobbs. While serving in Kirtland, New Mexico, he enjoyed getting to know and serve the people of the Navajo Nation. During his years as a State Policeman he received the Outstanding Work with Youth award from Woodman of the World and the Award for Service to Mankind from the Pecos Valley Sertoma Club. He served as an instructor at the New Mexico State Police Academy where he taught Accident Investigation. He also served as Special Investigator for the Roswell District Attorney for several years.

Ray loved people and always went out of his way to help others. His work led him to interact with people who were going through difficult times. It was very common for him to bring people he met home to his family. He would often give them food and money. He would always go above and beyond to help people and connect them with churches and other helpful services. He was quick to smile and loved to laugh. He loved to tell stories about his childhood and younger years farming in Farwell. He volunteered his time to do CPR training and other health and safety classes. He loved working with his hands and building things. He loved anything that had to do with family, Texas, cowboys, and the US flag.

Ray retired from the New Mexico State Police in 1984 and worked in health and safety training in Hobbs for Walton Construction and then Southwest Safety Specialists, a company he co-founded with his son Scott. They provided training and education for hazmat response and technical rescue.

Ray was a Deacon at the South Main Church of Christ in Roswell where he and Joanne helped with the youth group. He also served as an Elder at Taylor Street Church of Christ in Hobbs. Most recently he was a faithful member of the Country Club Road Church of Christ in Roswell. Ray served on the Board at Pine Springs Youth Camp in the Sacramento Mountains.

Ray was a very active member of Woodman of the World and at one point he served as Roswell Chapter President and state jurisdictional president for the Woodman convention. He was extremely patriotic and he loved to deliver US flags to schools, nonprofit organizations, and his grandchildren. Church and Woodman of the World were Ray and Joanne's core community and they made many lifelong friendships while serving these organizations.

Ray was preceded in death by his parents and his brothers Earl, George, Leon, Raymond, and Max Magness and his grandson Joshua Link.

He is survived by his loving wife of more than 66 years, Joanne, daughter Tammy Link and husband Bob, son Scott Magness, daughter Cindy Stewart and husband Jonathan, and grandchildren Megan Lanning and husband Matt, Shelby Hubbard, Cory Hubbard and wife Cheyenne, Mary Link, Charity Martin, Jamie Ricks and husband Randy, Lane Magness and wife Abby, Hayley Magness, Ashlyn Cavitt and husband Nathan, Amber Stewart, and great-grandchildren Declan, Alex, John Thomas, and Cooper Lanning, Brynlee and Jaxson Hubbard, Case and Scout Hubbard, Ezra and Jude Link, Hunter, Madelyn, and Lillian Martin, Skyler, Mallory, and Lydia Ricks, and Tinley, Knox, and Tank Magness, and sisters Wessie White and Carolyn and husband John McGrew and numerous nephews and nieces.


Arrangements are under the care of LaGrone Funeral Chapel. Services will be held at Country Club Road Church of Christ in Roswell on Monday, July 10 at 10:00 am. Burial will be held at Oklahoma Lane Cemetery in Farwell, Texas at 4:00 pm CDT. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to the New Mexico Christian Children's Home (1356 NM 236, Portales, New Mexico 88130) and Pine Springs Summer Camp (C/O Lubbock Christian University, 5601 19th Street, Lubbock, TX, 79407).

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William Magness, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

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Monday, July 10, 2023

10:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

Country Club Church Of Christ

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Funeral Service

Monday, July 10, 2023

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Country Club Road Church Of Christ

700 W. Country Club Road, Roswell, NM 88201

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