Raymond Arthur TomlinsonJanuary 18, 1934 ~ April 19, 2017 (age 83)
Raymond A. Tomlinson (or Chaplain Ray as he was called) was born on 01/18/1934 in McAlester, OK and passed away on 04/19/2017 in Citrus Heights, CA.
He was the son of Virgil and Sylvia Tomlinson. He is survived by his wife Jo, and children Debbie Chouinard, Julie Speaks, James Tomlinson, and Lori Sage, and brother Ruben Tomlinson along with eight grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren, along with several extended family members.
He was the son of a rancher and a farmer. After grammar school, his family moved to California and settled in Selma, where he graduated from Selma High School.
In 1952, Ray enlisted in the military where he went through a 16 week basic training at Fort Ord, California followed by Paratrooper School in Fort Benning, California. He then spent three months at Fort Campbell, and then Alaska for two months for winter training. He volunteered to fight in the Korean War and was then sent to Hokkaido, Japan for the next two years.
Ray married Josephine Finley Tomlinson on April 1st, 1957 at San Jose, CA. They recently celebrated 60 years of marriage.
In April of 1961, Ray accepted Christ as his Savior at the First Baptist Church of San Jose, and by his own admission, prior to Christ he had lived a wicked life. After accepting Christ, he looked for ways to serve the Lord any way he could.
Ray and Jo lived in San Jose for over 10 years, than moved back to Selma where they started a church with two other families. Soon the church began to grow to about one hundred in attendance. Ray felt the call into full time ministry. They sold their house, loaded up a U-haul truck and drove across the country to attend Pastor’s Training School at Hyles-Anderson College in Hammond, Indiana.
Following graduation he was privileged to pastor four churches throughout the Central Valley of California. At only one church did Ray receive a salary. He supported the family by hanging drywall for a living.
In Fresno, he had heard about an opening for a Chaplain at Kaiser Hospital in Sacramento. After much prayer, he accepted the position in 1988, even though he was informed – it was on a voluntary basis (meaning – no pay). The call was clear, and they moved to Sacramento where Ray served as Chaplain at Kaiser for 19 years. In addition, he filled the pulpit in various churches preaching the Word.
Following his ministry at Kaiser, Ray became Chaplain in four different Care facilities in the area.
To sum up Ray’s testimony – Ray has said, “I tried to follow the Lord in whatever He asks of me, including relying on His guidance with the many trials along the way. God has always been faithful and patient”.
Ray, you are so missed by many here, but we are rejoicing that you are in the arms of Jesus.
Arrangements under the direction of Price Funeral Chapel (916) 725-2109.