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Rader Funeral Home - Kilgore, TX

Bobby Ray Player
January 26, 1936 - May 25, 2007
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Services for well-known educator and tennis coach Bobby Ray Player, 71, of Liberty City will be held at 2 p.m., Wednesday, May 30,2007, at the First Baptist Church of Liberty City with the Reverend Don Beebe and Bruce Wells officiating. Burial will follow at Danville Cemetery.  Services are under the direction of Rader Funeral Home of Kilgore.

Mr. Player passed away on May 25, 2007, while surrounded by his family, at Hospice Homeplace in Tyler, Texas after a lengthy illness.

Bobby was born on January 26, 1936, in Shreveport to Arthur Ray and Eloise Player. He graduated from Sabine High School and later received his Bachelor and Master's Degrees from East Texas State University (now Texas A&M Commerce). He returned to Sabine High School in 1967 where he continued to teach for over 31 years. His Industrial Arts students won numerous awards and were instrumental in building the current Sabine High School Football Stadium. He also served as long-time tennis coach for the Cardinals where several of his players qualified for the State Tournament.

Player was an active member of the First Baptist Church of Liberty City where he had served as: Sunday School Teacher, Leader of the Royal Ambassadors, member of various building committees and the church's first bus driver. His hobbies included drawing plans for area churches and he has drawn plans for numerous local churches.

Player's community involvement included the following: Board Member of the Liberty City Water Supply Corporation; Board Member of the Gregg County Farm Bureau; Board Member of the Texas State Industrial Arts Teachers Association; Scoutmaster and District Commissioner for the Boy Scouts of America; founding member and past president of the Liberty City Lions Club; Member of the Public Integrity Committee for the Sabine Valley Center; and serving as the Democratic Party's Precinct Chairman for over 20 years.

Player married Violet Dixon Player on November 27, 1955, in Oil City, Louisiana. They are the parents of three sons: former Texas Association of School Board Director Ray Player of Liberty City; financial consultant Steve Player of Dallas and Mike Player of Liberty City, a local attorney. In addition to his wife and sons, Player is survived by: daughters-in-law Lynnette and Lydia Player; grandchildren Kelley Player and his wife Crystal, Michael J. Player and his wife Angelica, Kim Williams and her husband Glen, LeErin Player, David Player, Emily Player and Cole Player; great-grandchildren Hunter Player, Hagan Player, Allegra Player, Mia Player, McKenzie Williams and Trevor Williams; his brother and sister-in-law Tom and Carol Player of Portland, Oregon, his sisters and brothers-in-law Donnie and Milton Sullivent of Liberty City and Teresa and Floyd Dudley of Liberty City; as well as numerous nieces and nephews. But most of all, he is survived by the students he inspired and cared for during his 31 year teaching career.

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Bobby Ray Player
January 26, 1936 - May 25, 2007




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