Bill Ray                                                                         

     

(Bio submitted September 2007)         

Since we know everything about each other through high school, I will start with graduation. You know, it has been so long that I donít remember if I graduated !! I guess I did because after missing out on the first semester following graduation (I was told by Mr. FoxÖremember him ? that I had a baseball scholarship at Indiana State and by the time I found out that it wasnít true, it was too late to enroll at IU) I did start at IU the following January and was there for two years. I was really uncertain about what I wanted to do, so I laid out another semester and then transferred to Indiana State where I finished my degree in business.

On January 25, 1969,  while at Indiana State, Connie Williamson and I were married. In March, 1971, shortly before I graduated we had our first child, Jennifer.

Even though my degree was in business with a major emphasis in insurance and real estate, I turned down a number of positions in the insurance industry and took a retail position with a small auto parts company in Linton, Indiana. After a short stay with that company, I was convinced by a good friend that the insurance industry was much different than I perceived it to be and began a career with Prudential Insurance Company as an agent in Bedford. In May, 1973, while back in Bedford, Connie and I had our second child, Brian.

In 1976, following a fairly successful few years as an agent, I was promoted to a sales manager position in Indianapolis. We lived in Brownsburg, Indiana and in August, 1978 our third and last child Bradley was born.

In 1979, we relocated to Georgetown, Indiana where we stayed until 1988 when I was promoted again with Prudential to the VP of Regional Marketing. At that time, we moved to Noblesville, Indiana. All three of our children graduated from Noblesville High School.

While living in Noblesville in 1995, our daughter Jennifer was married to Rob Emmerson. Rob is an attorney and we are thankful that Jennifer is a stay-at-home mom. They live in Fishers, Indiana. Robís family lived in the same neighborhood as we did and his parents were and continue to be very good friends of ours. We stayed in Noblesville until 1999 when we relocated with Prudential to Valparaiso, Indiana.

In 2000, after a short stay in Valparaiso, Prudential called again and we relocated to Mason, Ohio (just north of Cincinnati) where I was the Managing Director over Ohio and Kentucky. It was while we were there in 2000 that Jennifer and Rob blessed us with our first grandchild, Lauren.

As luck would have it, we got a chance to move back to the Indianapolis area in 2003 where we knew we wanted to retire so we could be close to the kids and grandkids. We moved to Carmel, Indiana where we still reside. Also in 2003, Jennifer and Rob blessed with another beautiful granddaughter, Audra.

In 2004, our son, Brian married Misti Tomlinson. Misti had a nine year old son, Jace. So he became our third grandchild. Brian works for an engineering firm and Misti works in a corporate office . They live in Noblesville and are expecting their first child in January. We already know that it is going to be another girl !!! Alright !!!!

In October, 2004 Connie and I decided we had enough of moving/relocating and decided to retire from Prudential. We spent the next two winters in Ft. Myers, Florida. I had no idea that where we stayed was only about 3-4 miles from Terry Kluesner, In fact, at that time I didnít know Terry lived in Lehigh Acres.

I guess I had become a little bored with retirement, because when Prudential called again, I agreed to return as a management consultant. I have had lengthy assignments in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Missouri and Indiana. I thought this would only last a short time, but I have been active now for well over a year. Retirement is good, but after being so busy for so many years, I found it difficult to stay as busy as I wanted to be. Iím not sure how much longer I will want to do this, but it is great to have the option of whether or not to work.

Our last son, Brad is getting married to Laura Carter in October on Sanibel Island, Florida. Brad is self-employed and Laura is a marketing specialist with Marsh Foods. They will also reside in Noblesville.

Finally, earlier this year I formed a small real estate company with my two sons called Vertex Properties, LLC. We are just getting started with buying, rehabbing and selling older homes in the Indianapolis area. Just something else to do to stay busy !!!!

I didnít think I would have much to say about what I have done since high school, but this has turned into a long bio. I apologize if I have bored you with this stuff and details. However, this is what my life has been aboutÖ..family and Prudential.

We are all huge IU, Colts and Pacer fans. Jennyís husband Rob graduated from the University of Illinois, so he is not always an IU fan when they play Illinois. We are working on him. Also, everyone plays golf and we do get a chance to play together once in a while.

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