Fallen Hero: SFC(Ret) Marion Ray Keith


Funeral Home

Meridth-Nowell Funeral Home

Clarksdale, MS


2- 3 P.M. , Saturday, March 25, 2023, Clarksdale Baptist Church, Clarksdale, MS.


3 P.M. , Saturday, March 25, 2023, Clarksdale Baptist Church, Clarksdale, MS.


Honoring a Fallen Hero, Who Served Within the Mississippi National Guard.  “Fallen, Yet Not Forgotten”

In recognition of our proud American tradition of honorable service which our military men and women have given to their country and our State, we honor a Fallen Hero. Our nation, our state, and the National Guard Association of MS (NGAMS) regard the memorializing of its retired military deceased as an honorable and sacred obligation.

Another great Soldier and Fallen Hero has been released from duty, passed from our ranks on March 15, 2023, and has moved on to his heavenly home.  SFC(Ret) Marion Ray Keith, age 94, a retired member of the MS Army National Guard, who had served within the 223d Engineer Battalion has departed and gone to a better place with our good Lord.

It takes a special person to serve within the military for their country, giving up their family time, comfort, and safety for their country, ultimately for all Americans to enjoy their freedoms, safety, and way of life. We now applaud you for your service to our country. A special message from General Douglas McArthur remains applicable today for our servicemen that have passed: “Old Soldiers never die; they just fade away”.

Rest in Peace Soldier. We applaud your patriotism and brave efforts in serving our country and your family for their support of your service. We thank you for your service. Without your efforts and your families’ support, our country would not stand so boldly, shine so bright and live so free.

You now have earned a rest, so go fly with the Angels, go rest high on that mountain; your work on earth is done. Go to heaven a-shoutin’ Love for the Father and the Son.

Fallen, Yet Not Forgotten”

Obituary, visitation, and service details:

Marion Ray Keith, 94, was born on April 9, 1928 in Moorhead, Mississippi. The oldest of four children, Ray became a hard worker at a young age to help provide for his family.

He fell in love with Maxine Maynor and they married on January 15, 1950. Together they celebrated 73 years of marriage and raised four wonderful children, 7 fabulous grandchildren & 10 precious greatgrandchildren. He was known to all as granddaddy.

Ray retired from the U.S. Post office after 31 years of service.

He was a true born mechanic, could fix anything. You could always find him in the shop working on someone’s car or lawnmower.

Ray learned to fly an airplane in 1968. His mechanical abilities along with the love of flying resulted in building his Piper J3 Cub which was later lost in a wind storm. He never forgot the joy of flying.

Ray was a longtime member of Clarksdale Baptist Church where he was baptized and later served as a deacon. He served on practically every committee in the church and organized the monthly fellowship breakfast which continues to this day. He was a member of Primetime at Clarksdale Baptist Church, Rolling Along Club at Oakhurst Baptist Church, and the Resthaven Coffee Club.

He was a Master Mason, serving 64 years, living up to the motto: “Making Good Men Better.”   He served as the Master of the Lodge and Treasurer, and served as Grand Tiler of the Grand Lodge of Mississippi.  He was a 33rd Degree Scottish Rite Mason, member of the York Rite, the Eastern Star, a Knight Mason and a Shriner.

He was also a member of the Lions Club and American Legion, following his 24 years of service with the Mississippi Army National Guard.

He is survived by his wife of 73 years, Maxine Maynor Keith; sons David Glen Keith (Lou Ann) of Nesbit, MS, Charles Ray Keith (Brenda) of Clarksdale, MS, daughters; Donna Davenport (James) of Southaven, MS, Susan Rodgers (Richard) of Lambert, MS, 7 Grandchildren; Nicholas Keith, Robert Keith, Adam Keith (Macy), Jay Davenport, Kristen Davenport Locke, Rigby Rodgers (Elisa), Jonathan Rodgers (Rebecca) and 10 Greatgrandchildren; Cannon Davenport (Madison) Carson Davenport (Cheyenne), Makenzie Davenport, Harley Locke, Tristan Rodgers, Benjamin Rodgers, Barrett Rodgers, Kaylee Rodgers, Saxton Keith, and Mary Lyle Keith.

We can’t forget our other brother, Allen Lee.

Preceded in death by his parents Ezbon and Gertrude Keith, brothers; Bobby Keith and Ned Keith, and his sister Dixie Blankley.

Request donations to be made to Clarksdale Baptist Church or donor’s choice.

Visitation will be held 2:00 – 3:00 P.M. Saturday, March 25, 2023 with a Memorial Service to follow at 3:00 P.M. at Clarksdale Baptist Church in Clarksdale, MS.