Joe F. Rayl

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Joe F. Rayl was born on Aug. 1, 1928, to Willis Duncan Rayl and Evia (Burgess) Rayl in Badcaw, Ark, and quietly passed away in Bolivar, Mo., on Monday, Sept. 29, 2014, at Parkview Healthcare Facility.

Shortly after his birth, Joe and his family moved to Lakeworth, Texas. It was in Lakeworth that Joe graduated from high school and where he met some of his lifelong best friends. Joe excelled in high school athletics, and went on to SMU in Texas on a full football scholarship. The following year he transferred the scholarship to Austin College in Sherman, Texas, where he played football and majored in education with plans to become a coach.

While at Austin College he met a young local resident of Sherman by the name of Jane Totten, and they were married on Dec. 6, 1953. Shortly after their marriage Joe joined the Navy, and was stationed at Great Lakes Naval Base where he was a physical training instructor. While preparing young soldiers who were on their way to Korea, Joe was also a player for the Great Lakes Blue Jackets Naval football team. He was proud to serve his country and often spoke fondly about his years at Great Lakes. While at Great Lakes, Jane and Joe became parents when their son, Davin, was born.

After completing his Naval service, Joe, Jane and young Davin moved to Sherman, Texas. While in Sherman, Joe completed his degree from Austin College. From there the family moved to Durant, Okla., where Joe purchased a small oil company. After two years in Durant, Joe went to work for American Petrofina Oil Company and moved the family to Sedalia, Mo. While living in Sedalia, Jane, Joe and Davin welcomed a daughter and sister, Jane Ann, to the family in 1958.

Joe and family moved to Bolivar, Mo., in the early 1960s where he purchased U-Save Oil Company, a petroleum distributorship which he owned and operated until 1984.

In the late 1960s, Joe purchased a small bank in Greenfield, Mo., and for the next 40 years pursued his love of banking and building community banks throughout southwest Missouri. After selling his group of banks known as Southwest Bancshares in 1995, Joe's plan to retire couldn't stand the test of time. In 1996, he purchased Farmers State Bank of Schell City in Vernon County, Mo., and began building branches in the Bolivar and Lake Pomme de Terre communities. Farmers State Bank continues to operate today with five banking locations. In 1999, he was the principal incorporator, along with other investors, of the South Padre Bank in South Padre Island, Texas. The family's interest in South Padre Bank was sold in December 2013.

Joe was always proud to be a resident and supporter of Polk County and surrounding communities. Joe and Jane's most visible local project is the Rayl Polk County Library, which they dedicated to the residents of the community and to the memory of their late son, Davin, in 1998. They were also organizers and investors in the Silo Ridge Golf & Country Club near Bolivar. Over the years Joe and Jane also gave generous support to the Humane Society, the Boys Scouts and the Republican Party.

Joe was preceded in death by his parents; his son, Davin; his brother, Allen; and his sister, Juanita.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Jane; his daughter and son-in-law, Jane Ann and Alan Murray; his grandsons and their wives, Mathew and Michelle Murray and Oliver and Chauntelle Murray; his two great-granddaughters, Brooklyn Grace Murray and Lily Mae Murray; great-grandson, Mathew Alexander Murray; his brother-in-law, Wally Totten; a nephew, Darrel Ashmore and his wife, Karon; a niece, Kathy Ashmore; and a host of neighbors and friends.

Visitation will be held at Butler Chapel at 10 a.m., Friday, Oct. 3. A celebration of Joe's life will be held at 11 a.m., Friday, Oct. 3, at the Butler Funeral Home Chapel, Bolivar, Mo. Speaking will be David Hacker, Oliver Murray, and Mathew Murray, with closing prayer by Michael Brown. David Hacker will be the soloist. Casketbearers will be Alan Murray, Mathew Murray, Oliver Murray, Mike Phillips, J.C. Meador, Monte Kahler, Alva Ellison, Wally Totten, Ryan Curry, Gene Hutcheson, and Matt Henenburg. Burial will be in the Greenwood Cemetery with full military honors by the AMVETS and the U.S. Navy Honors Team.

Arrangements are under care and direction of the Butler Funeral Home, in Bolivar, Mo.

Memorial contributions may be made to the CMH Hospice, 113 E. Broadway, Bolivar, MO. 65613, and the Boy Scouts of America, Ozark Trails Council, 1616 S. Eastgate, Springfield, MO. 65809.

Friends and family may send private condolences at