George Edward LeRay, II
George Edward LeRay II, of DeRidder, LA, passed away Tuesday, July 21st at his home. He was 81.
George was a pharmacist and former owner of Ideal Drug Store, a business started by his grandfather in 1903. The business is the oldest, continuous one in DeRidder and one of the oldest in Southwest Louisiana.
George was born to Travis Edward and Brownie LeRay on February 26, 1939. After graduating from DeRidder High School in 1957, he obtained a degree in pharmacy at Northeast Louisiana University. He also attended Centenary College.
George built upon the family business and modernized it. He was passionate about his career and just as enthusiastic about helping others. Many times, if a customer was facing hard times, he would fill their prescription at no charge. He was also an advocate for the field of pharmacy, inspiring several local young people to pursue the career path. He would speak at “career days” at the local high school every chance he could.
George’s civic involvement was vast and spanned decades. He earned the rank of Eagle Scout as a young man, and was active in the local Boy Scout organization as an adult. He was also involved in the DeRidder Rotary club and at the time of his death, was the longest tenured DeRidder Rotarian, having served over 35 years. He was once tapped by Rotary Clubs of Southwest Louisiana to spend time in Belgium as part an exchange program.
Other causes George had time to include the March of Dimes, Deridder High School Alumni Association, June Jenkins Women’s Shelter, Louisiana Bicentennial Commission, Greater Beauregard Chamber of Commerce and DeRidder Jaycees. He once served as the statewide president of the Louisiana Jaycees.
George served on the DeRidder City Council for four years and was involved in the Louisiana State Pharmaceutical Association and the Louisiana Partners of the Americas, where he served for two years on the executive committee.
He earned a list of community and state honors through the years, including DeRidder Citizen of the Year in 1973 and DeRidder Women’s League Mardi Gras Gala King in 2008. He was also a longtime member of the First United Methodist Church of DeRidder.
George was preceded in death by his parents, Travis Edward and Brownie LeRay.
Those left to cherish his memory are his loving wife of 35 years, Marie Jeanette “Jeanie” LeRay of DeRidder, LA; daughters, Meredith Michelle Arceneaux of Dallas, TX, Adrienne Jeffery of DeRidder, LA; sister, Lianne McNaught of Dallas, TX; grandchildren, Ashley McShan and Ray, Joshua Clark and Anna, Emily Clark & Tyler Badgett, Matthew Mansco and Mazie, Kenneth Mansco, Zoe Arceneaux; nine great grandchildren; nephews, Clark McNaught and Kevan McNaught; and a host of extended family and friends.
Visitation will be held on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 from 5:00 to 7:00 PM at Myers Colonial Funeral Home in DeRidder, LA. Funeral service will be Thursday, July 30, 2020 at 2:00 PM at First United Methodist Church in DeRidder, LA. Reverend Laraine Waughtal will officiate the service. Pallbearers will be Jimmy Hicks, Mike Clanton, Dale Peterson, Earl Roulaine, Kerry Anderson, Clark McNaught, Kevan McNaught and Vincent Labue. Honorary Pallbearers will be Matthew Mansco, Kenneth Mansco and Joshua Clark. Burial will follow at Beauregard Cemetery in DeRidder, LA.