Cover photo for Ray Noble Finch's Obituary
Ray Noble Finch Profile Photo
1935 Ray 2024

Ray Noble Finch

April 27, 1935 — April 27, 2024

College Station

Ray Noble Finch was born in Bellville, Texas to Homer Marvin Finch and Emma Gladys Bradham Finch in the midst of the Depression in 1935. 

His family moved to Bay City, Texas soon after.   This is where he grew up and always had a fond place in his heart for his hometown.  

He was always friendly and intelligent. Even in first grade, at the beginning of WWII, his teacher nicknamed Ray “Walkie-Talkie” because he often finished his work early and took that opportunity to walk around and talk to his classmates. 

He was never one to sit still for long, and he learned the value of hard work early.  As a young boy of about 10, he began mowing lawns.  Later, as a teenager, he worked for the Post Office delivering catalogs all over town.  He also earned the rank of Eagle Scout in Boy Scouts and enjoyed traveling to many Boy Scout Jamborees and meeting scouts from around the country. In high school he played football (Ray was all-district his senior year), baseball, basketball, and swimming.  In addition, he was in National Honor Society and the Slide Rule Club.  His senior year, he was voted Most Dependable. 

He entered Texas A & M University in the fall of 1953 after a trip to Aggieland changed his plans to attend Rice University.   His love for Texas A & M began on that trip and lasted all his days.  Like most freshmen of that time, he was in the Corps.  He was a diligent student and upon graduation was included in Tau Beta Pi for his good grades in engineering coursework. During his sophomore year he met a Baylor gal named Nancy Virginia Greenwood.  It was on a double date, but not with each other.   However, Ray only had eyes for Nancy.   Her grandmother lived in Navasota, so they often met there for homemade ice cream and romance. They were married in August of 1956 in West Columbia, Texas. 

In 1957, upon completion of his undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering, Ray took the advice of one his professors to pursue his graduate degree immediately rather than waiting.  So, he headed to that school in Austin where he studied and completed his Masters in 1961, and his Doctorate in 1963, both in Chemical Engineering with minors in math and chemistry.  

Along the way, his family was growing.  The couple welcomed Stephen Ray in March of 1958, and Virginia “Jenny Kay” in 1961.  And Marvin Montgomery “Monty” was born in August of 1964 back in Bay City where the young family settled for a time. 

After a year or so, they moved to Corpus Christi where Ray accepted a job with Celanese. Ray stayed with Celanese in various roles until 1972.  At this time, the family moved to the tumbleweeds of Odessa, Texas, and Ray worked for El Paso Products Company until August of 1984.  During his tenure there, he worked as Director of Research and Development, Director of Engineering and Construction and Director of Environmental Affairs.  In 1979, he was awarded Engineer of the Year by the Permian Basin Chapter of Texas Society of Professional Engineers. During this last position, Ray decided he would launch his own environmental engineering consulting firm, and Finch Energy & Environmental Services, Incorporated was born. To pay the bills while the company was finding its way, Ray took a position at Texas A&M-Kingsville where he was the Chairman of Chemical and Natural Gas Engineering Department, and later, Chairman of Environmental Engineering Department, teaching all along the way. During this time, he was also appointed director of South Texas Water Authority. In 1996, the American Academy of Environmental Engineers named him a Diplomate in the specialty of Hazardous Waste Management.  In 1999, the Chemical Engineering Department at Texas A & M University named him Distinguished Alumni.

Upon retirement in 2002, Ray and Nancy moved to College Station to cheer on the Aggies every chance they could. Here they soon made First Baptist Church Bryan their new church home. They hit the ground running co-teaching a young married class and joining Broadman Singers.

All along the way, wherever they lived, Ray also planted roots in various churches and in numerous lives.  Ray was ordained a deacon in the mid-1960s at Parkdale Baptist Church in Corpus Christi. He was humbled by the honor and responsibility to serve the Lord as a deacon for almost 60 years.  In addition, he taught God’s Word in Sunday morning classes and also opened his home for neighborhood Bible study. He loved outreach and mentoring, too.  Indeed, he never stopped striving to do whatever he could to advance God’s Kingdom. His faith in Jesus Christ was real and active and something to be shared, which he did with a tender heart.  Often when talking about what God had done for him, he would tear up. So tender was his heart toward his Savior.  Every morning, he started his day with Jesus reading from both Old and New Testaments each day.  So real was his relationship with Jesus, that he regularly poured a cup of coffee for Jesus first, before he poured his own. His prayer list was always long as he took people and concerns to the Lord faithfully. Even when dementia began to steal part of him away from his family, his prayer life remained constant and vital.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Homer Marvin and Emma Bradham Finch; his sister, Sammie Jarrell and his nephew Milton Ray Jarrell.

He is survived by his loving wife of 67 years, Nancy; his son, Stephen Ray Finch (Padmini); his daughter, Virginia Kay Finch; and his son, Marvin Montgomery Finch.

He is also survived by grandchildren: Alexander Pillay Finch, Anjuli Margaret Finch-Mosley (Aidan), Sonika Virginia Finch and William Pillay Finch.

He is also survived by his nephew, Glenn Jarrell.

In lieu of flowers, the family is asking donations to be made to either:

First Baptist Church-Bryan Missions Fund

or

The Gideons International

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ray Noble Finch, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, May 3, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

First Baptist Church Bryan

3100 Cambridge Dr, Bryan, TX 77802

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Memorial Service

Friday, May 3, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

First Baptist Church Bryan

3100 Cambridge Dr, Bryan, TX 77802

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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