Martin & Zelda Capehart Genealogy Website
Martin & Zelda Capehart Genealogy Website
In Loving Memory -- Ray Ellis Capehart
"A precious life,
memories of which we'll keep,
of times and places,
laughter and tears."
  (Taken from his Funeral Memorial)
Ray Ellis Capehart, 87, of Rogers, Arkansas passed away July 6, 1995, at the home of his daughter, Jeanne, near Seligman, Missouri.  He was born in Wiley, Colorado to John and Sara (Burton) Capehart.  He was preceded in death by his parents soon after his birth; his first wife, Gladys, on Jan. 4, 1957; and 1 brother, William Arval Capehart and 2 sisters, Mabel Prochnow and Retta Fleak.

Ray was united in marriage to his wife, Gladys, on Aug. 18, 1930.  To this union were born 2 sons, Martin and David and 3 daughters, Nona, Joan  and Jeanne.

Ray had been a farmer in Iowa, moving to a farm near Harrison, AR in 1951.  He moved to the Rogers area in 1956 and married his 2nd wife Beatrice  on September 1961.  He was a member of the Church of God Holiness in Bentonville.

Ray is survived by his wife, Beatrice, his 2 sons and 3 daughters; three stepsons, Donald, Eugene and Paul and one stepdaughter, Carol; at least 18 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren.

Funeral services were held at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, July 8th at the Callison-Lough Funeral Home in Rogers, with Rev. Carl Knight officiating.  A graveside service was held at 3:00 p.m., Saturday, July 8th at the Maplewood Cemetery in Harrison, where he was buried beside Gladys, his first wife and mother of his 5 children.

He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.

Ray Ellis Capehart was born prematurely Feb. 2, 1908 to John Ellis & Sara Elizabeth (Burton) Capehart at their home in the Wiley, Colorado area.  His mother was ill with the fever and died of pneumonia when he was only two days old.  His father also had the fever and died of pneumonia when Ray was 11 days old.  (According to the article "The George Capehart Family", they had typhoid fever.)   John had written or  wired his sister, Jennie, who lived at North Branch, Iowa, telling her he was sick, didn't expect to live long and to come get Ray and their other 3 children.   After hearing from John, Jennie and 1 or 2 other family members traveled by train to Colorado.  Upon her arrival there she learned that her brother had already passed away.  A prospector had taken the children into his cabin and had been caring for them. 

Ray's Aunt Jennie brought him and his brother, William Arval, and two sister, Mabel and Retta, back to Iowa on the train.  Ray's bed was a pillow.  He was so tiny, his aunt could slip her wedding ring over his hand and all the way up to his little elbow.  At home, as she worked or slept, she always kept him nearby on a pillow in a rocking chair.  She would reach over and touch him in the night to see if he was still breathing.  Milk did not agree with him which created additional concerns and problems.  At the age of two, Ray was so small he could walk under his aunt's dining room table without bumping his head.

As was quite common in those days, Ray left grade school to help on the family farm (the Marshus & Jennie Marion farm).   He never returned to school and did quite well in life with less than a 3rd grade education.    He married his wife, Gladys, on Aug. 18, 1930 and continued to farm there until they moved to Harrison, Arkansas about 1951.

After moving to Arkansas, Ray and Gladys lived on a farm near Harrison and helped with a mission meeting in the Highland Community Building located between Harrison and Bergman.  It was during a revival service at this Community Building that Ray knelt at the altar, accepted Christ as his Savior and began his walk with God. 

In 1994, when Ray's health began declining, his youngest daughter, Jeanne, took him into her home, where she and other family members cared for him the last 13 months of his life. 

When I met Ray, the family was living on a farm near Harrison, Arkansas.  Gladys, his wife, was an invalid and passed away at the age of 50, only living about 5-1/12 months after Martin and I were married.  Ray had a hernia which gave him a lot of trouble over the years making it difficult to keep up with his farm work.  A few years later he had surgery to correct the problem. 

After Gladys death, he and his family moved to the Rogers, AR area.  He and his second wife, Beatrice, lived in Rogers area until he went to live with his daughter in Missouri before his death.

After moving to Northwest Arkansas, Ray worked at odd jobs and at a chicken plant until retirement.  He raised a small garden, mowed the lawn for his church and tinkered in his workshop until declining health hindered him.  When he went to live with his daughter, her husband built Ray a small workshop where he could work on projects whenever his health permitted.  Two of the projects were small wooden boxes with padlocks which he made for each of his grandchildren and a nativity stable for each of his children. 

Ray died of a heart attack at the age of 87.  We are so thankful his mind was good and he was able to be up and about until his death.  He spent his last Thanksgiving Day with us and we felt honored to have him in our home, numerous times during the last 13 months of his life.

I remember a couple nicknames I occasionally called him.  One was Gildersleeve and the other was Jingles.  He was always carrying things in his pockets, which jingled when he walked.  I'm not sure where the nickname Gildersleeve came from.

Ray went to his grave knowing very little about his parents.  How I wish I could have started my genealogy research sooner and shared with him my findings.  He never knew of his mother's Native American ancestry or much about his Capehart ancestors. 

In May 2005, Martin & I visited the area where Ray's parents lived when he was born and obtained copies of their death certificates.  That was a special time for Martin.   Visiting the area where they lived and holding those two pieces of paper in our hands provided a sense of connection with and confirmation of the lives of two very special people, Martin's grandparents.   Two people whose lives were cut short, who never got to see their children grow up or see and hold their grandchildren.   

Ray Ellis Capehart
by Zelda Capehart
The information on this website has been compiled from many sources.  We have tried to document and verify all information as much as possible and will continue to do so.  If you find an error or have additional information please contact us.
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