This year’s Grand Marshal, Audie Ray, was born in the County of Okmulgee in Oklahoma on December 12, 1938. His family moved to California in 1946. Finally settled in Woodlake, he attended Woodlake schools, graduating from Woodlake Union High School in 1957. He went on to College of Sequoias, majoring in Law Enforcement. He also attended classes at Fresno State.
Audie helped David Boas with the minnow farm and after school while in high school he worked for Bill Ferry, Sr. Audie always says, “If not for Bill, I probably would not have gone to college.”
He also worked for a cement contractor in Tulare during summers. While attending COS, he worked part-time at night for the Tulare County Probation department at the Youth Center.
In 1960, Audie married Lu Ellen Atwood. They have four married children (Brenda and husband Fred Plum, Jr.; Scott, and wife Debra; Chuck and wife Laura; Kirk and wife Karen). They also have eight fantastic grandchildren whom he loves very dearly.
Audie worked at the Woodlake Police Department for three and a half years, then back full-time to Tulare County Probation at the Road Camp in Terra Bella as Superintendent.
|Audie at the Woodlake Lions 25th Anniversary banquet, November 17, 1972.|
When the County consolidated Road Camp with Woodlake Road Camp, he moved there and then on to Sequoia Field Correctional Center where the Sheriff Office took over. He served on the Tulare County Gang Task Force. He stayed with the Sheriff’s Office until he retired in 1995 as Lieutenant Command of Bob Wiley Detention Facility.
For more than 40 years, Audie has been a member of the Woodlake Lions Club, serving in all officers seats, including President, Zone Chairmen and then Secretary for four years.
While he was on the Project Committee, Lions Club funded the entrance signs to the City of Woodlake, the restrooms and the bleachers at Woodlake Union High School football field. Audie was one of the first board members of the Francis J. White Lions Club Center. He was chairman for the Woodlake area cancer drive in the 1960s.
Audie served on the Woodlake Volunteer Fire and ambulance district for more than 17 years and was engineer when he left. He also served four years on the Woodlake City Council as Vice Mayor and four years on the Woodlake Planning Committee. Audie loves the Woodlake community and all the friendly people here.
His family says he has always been a workaholic, but will find time for his hunting, fishing and camping rips with family and friends. He gets kick out of seeing his grand kids on these trips and remembering when his kids the same things. Audie also enjoys playing cards and dominoes with family and friends.
Audie says he owes his success to his mentor, Bill Ferry, Sr. and his wife Lu as well as his kids for their help through the years.
Audie wants to thank the Woodlake Lions Club for this great honor to serve as Grand Marshal and wishes them many more years of success.