Gordon Ray Heathcoe, born Jan. 1, 1949, and raised in Whistler, Alabama, met his Lord and Savior on Sept. 12, 2021.
Ray was known as one of the “street racers” in Mobile before graduating from Vigor High School in 1969. Drafted straight from high school, Ray began his career as a tank commander and sniper in the Army 17th Cavalry H-Troop on Highway One throughout Vietnam. Thus, falling victim to Agent Orange. He was awarded the Bronze Star among many other distinguished metals for his service.
Returning home, Ray owned a diesel repair shop while continuing his “street racing” career. That career went on to blossom as Ray became a NHRA top fuel drag racer nationwide with the guidance of Jerry Gywnn. This career prompted Ray to begin and operate Road House Truck Conversions, manufacturing custom motorhomes and trailers to the racing industry. His racing career also began long term friendships with some of drag racing’s elite racers, allowing him to crew for Don Garlits during Don’s exhibition races with Shirley “Cha Cha” Muldoney and doing PR for the Gwynn New York Yankees Racing Team.
Ray and his wife are owners and operators of Eternal Pet Crematory, Inc. since 1996. Ray was a life-long volunteer and supporter of the Angel Ride Foundation, the Darrell Gwynn Foundation, Wounded Warrior Foundation, National Veterans Foundation, and various other local charities.
Ray is preceded in death by his maternal grandparents; Arthur & Ruth Doan, his paternal grandparents; S.B. & Lena Heathcoe, his mother Baby Ruth Beckner, his father Gordon Heathcoe, his stepfather Clyde Beckner, and brother-in-law, David Walker.
Ray is survived by his wife of 34 years, Pandora Jorgensen Heathcoe, son Clay Heathcoe (Bella), brother Lebaron Heathcoe, sister Debra Walker (Percy Rowell), brother-in-law Herb Jorgensen, Jr. (Patty), and many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Honorary pallbearers are friends Frank Oglesby, Randy Griffis, Jerry Gwynn, Darrell Gwynn, Don Garlits, Austin Coil, Barry Booth and Dr. Albert Corte, Sr.
Services will be held at a later date with interment in the State of Alabama Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Spanish Fort, Alabama with full military honors. Family will greet friends at a celebration of life held at the family home at that time.
In lieu of flowers please donate to Wounded Warrior Project, or the Honor Bound Foundation for victims and family members suffering from Agent Orange.
Arrangements entrusted to Wolfe-Bayview Funeral Homes & Crematory, Inc. 19698 Greeno Road, Fairhope, Alabama 36532. 251-990-7775. www.wolfefuneralhomes.com.