Raymond Luna, Jr.
1985 – 2020
Raymond Luna, Jr., 34, was born December 23, 1985 in Houston, Texas and entered eternal rest January 6, 2020 in Dayton, Texas. Raymond was a loving son, grandson, brother, uncle, and friend. Raymond graduated from Lutheran High North in 2004 and entered the University of Houston, where he earned a bachelor’s degree. He began a teaching career as a 7th grade Texas History instructor and baseball coach at John Marshall Middle School. He was loved by his students as an inspiring, but also a caring and giving, teacher and coach. He bought school supplies for his students and found ways to pay for full uniforms and top quality equipment for his players , often with his own money. Outside the classroom Raymond kept up with his students, making sure they got “goodie bags” at Christmas since, for some of them, it might the only present they would get. He also spent many hours baking cookies for his class parties, and tapped every connection he had to provide pizza as well.
A young man who never met a stranger, Ray loved to travel, and in his 34 years he visited numerous European countries, including Denmark, the Netherlands, and Spain, where he studied for a semester. More recently he visited Jerusalem, and other spots in the Middle East. He most often traveled alone, the better to meet new people, and despite his mother’s concern, he assured her the world was friendlier and safer than she imagined. Wherever he went, he made friends and kept up with them by e-mail and telephone.
During his long battle with cancer, he was known by everyone at M.D.Anderson for his love for the Astros, always appearing in one or another of his Astros shirts. More than that, they knew him for his genuine interest in other patients, always asking how they were doing, regardless of how he felt. They will also long remember him for the annual Christmas toy drive he started on his 30th birthday. Even this year, it was a huge success, providing many children with gifts.
Somehow, Raymond found the time and energy to start his famous “True Bark BBQ” business. In the process, he took two former students under his wing, providing them with week-end jobs and an apprenticeship in the world of small business. They were also given a “real world” demonstration of the values of hard work, dependability, and pride in workmanship. Nikko and Angel were mentored by a man they will never forget.
Raymond was predeceased by his grandparents, Johnnie M. Luna, Henry D. Gonzales, William Johnson, Sr., and Julia Johnson; and by his stepsister, Corie Elizabeth. He leaves behind, cherishing his memories, his father, Raymond Luna, Sr. & wife Yolanda; his mother, Cynthia G. Johnson & husband William; his maternal grandmother, Mary Luna; his paternal grandmother, Alice A. Luna; his sister, Victoria Christina; his stepbrothers, Peter, Matthew, and William; his stepsisters, Andrea, Ginger, and Gena; and numerous nieces, nephews, uncles, aunts, cousins, and many friends. He will be greatly missed by all who shared in his life.
At the request of the family, a special “thank you” to Sarah Shewayish:
“Our most heartfelt and deepest gratitude to Sarah for the untiring and unselfish care she gave to Ray. Though she lives in Tampa, Florida, she traveled here at every opportunity to provide personal care for Ray. Her knowledge and care gave him physical comfort, but equally as important, her presence gave him mental and emotional peace. The family leaned heavily upon her guidance in the management of his pain and the control of the many side effects of the medications used to fight his aggressive cancer. She had a calming and reassuring effect on all of us. Sarah is the love of Ray’s life …..and he is hers. God bless you Sarah. We love you”.
A visitation will be held on Sunday, January 12, 2020 from 4:00pm to 8:00pm with a Celebration of Life service at 6:00pm in the Compean Funeral Home Main Chapel. A Funeral Service will be held on Monday, January 13, 2020 at 11:00am at the Compean Funeral Home Main Chapel. Rite of Committal will follow in Palms Memorial Park in Dayton, Texas.
Pallbearers: David Cortez, Jordan Slife, Dante Luna, Samuel Longoria, John Luna, Isaac Damon Luera-Bushnell, Peter Gonzales, Oscar Guebara.
Honorary Pallbearers: Henri Guebara and Mitchell Hitt.