Ray Ann (Caudle) Zant, age 75, of Odessa, TX, passed away Sunday, May 7, 2017 in Odessa.
Ray Ann was born in Odessa, November 5th 1941 as the oldest and bossiest of five brothers and sisters to Fred and Bettyesue Caudle. She was raised in Midland and graduated from Midland High in May of 1960. She returned to Odessa in the fall of 1960 to attend Odessa College on a tennis scholarship. She continued her education career over the next 28 years all on academic scholarships. Finally in 1988 after being told there were no more scholarships nor classes she was forced to graduate summa cum laude from UTPB with a BA in Anthropology
While playing tennis at Odessa College, Ray Ann met the father of her three girls, Shannon, Sharo and Sherea. She was raising the girls by herself when she finally met the love of her life and married Joe Zant, Jr in Feb. 14th 1978, bringing with him four more children, Clif, Cathy, Jerry and Laura. Together they owned and operated Zant & Associates a successful real estate business. Ray Ann then later became a Certified Residential Appraiser, a career that lasted over 30 yrs.
While raising children, still going to school and owning the business she found time to volunteer and provide community service for many organizations throughout Odessa and some even state wide. Her proudest accomplishment was serving the Board of Trustees for Odessa College for ten years, following her husband Joe Zant, Jr and his father Joe Zant, Sr. She had to resign from the board April 25, 2017 due to her health. She served the Permian Basin Girl Scout Council for over 25 yrs, ranging in every position from cookie chairman to Vice President. Ray Ann was the first lady to be elected by the Girl Scout Council for their now annual Woman of Distinction Award. She also served many hours with the Odessa Optimist Club. She was the first woman admitted as a member of the Odessa club in 1986. She served all positions locally and two terms as Lt. Governor earning Outstanding and Distinguished titles for the North Texas District while also receiving an international award "Builder of Excellence" from Optimist International and left with a perfect attendance status since joining the club in 1986. She also served as President of the Board for the Odessa Board of Realtors and Vice President of the Archeological Society. She spent hours volunteering with the Ronald McDonald House, Meals on Wheels, St. Luke's Methodist Church, where she was a secretary and treasurer, food and baby pantry, the Odessa Jaycees, the Permian Basin Bass Club and PTA president (2 yrs) for Dowling Elementary.
Ray Ann was an avid reader and loved to travel. She visited all 50 states and most all national parks. She enjoyed working archeological digs and rock art preservation around the southwestern United States. She also obtained a private pilot’s license. She enjoyed mostly spending time with her family, especially Thanksgivings, and had a special love for Miniature Schnauzers
Ray Ann was preceded in death by her husband Joe Zant, Jr; parents Fred Caudle and Bettyesue (Duke) Caudle; twin brothers Phil and Paul Caudle; stepson Jerry Zant; and granddaughter Amber Zant Bice.
Ray Ann is survived by her sisters; Freda and Clyde Kinsey, Lyn and Jerry Brown and sister-in-law Gail Caudle, all of midland; and sister-in-law Celia Bowden of Bronte,TX: 3 daughters, Shannon Myers and Cecil Lotief of Northport, WA, Sharo Myers Lopez of Odessa and Sherea and Tom Hill of Midland; stepchildren, Clif and Lindsay Zant, Cathy Zant Hoggard, Heidi Zant, and Laura Zant all of Odessa. 10 grandchildren, Jenny, Michelle, David, Michael, Daniel, Chris, Ciara, Dakota, Kaden and Kinsey and 8 great grandchildren. And also known as ARA to numerous nieces, nephews and friends
Don Mouser, Reed Berlin, Virgil Trower, Paul Lucas, Bob Keating, Ronny Haynes
Honorary Pall Bearers:
Foy Bates, Jerry Lovell, Ernie Lynch, Robert Norwood, Dave Paterno, JD Drgac, Janie and Robert Prieto.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Ray Ann Zant’s name to the Odessa College Scholarship Fund.
Visitation will be from 6:00-8:00 pm, Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at Sunset Memorial Funeral Home.
Funeral Services will be at 10:00 am, Wednesday, May 10, 2017 at Sunset Memorial Funeral Home Chapel with Dr. Gregory D. Williams, President of Odessa College officiating.
Arrangements are entrusted to Sunset Memorial Gardens and Funeral Home in Odessa. To send family condolences please sign her guestbook at www.sunsetodessa.com.
I am saddened by the passing of RayAnn. I will always remember her smiling face. My heartfelt condolences to her family.
Sue JonesOdessa, TX
Ray Ann was a true treasure, God took home an amazing, giving, sweetheart of a lady. She was a blessing that will be truly missed throughout our community, and in my life.
Carla ClarkOdessa, TX
I was so sorry to hear about the loss of such a long time friend. My thoughts and prayers go out to her dear family. Ray Ann and I were great friends throughout our school years, and we graduated from Midland High together. Over the years we have touched base through social media, but we unfortunately did not get together as we had hoped. I know she will be greatly missed. What a beautiful person she always was to everyone.
"Tooky" Joan RobertsBurnet, TX
I met Ray Ann when I was a child. I grew up with her daughter, knew her through Girl Scouts, and she and my mother were friends. Lots of good times!
She had a kind soft spirit; and will be missed...
I'm so deeply sorry for your loss Shannon, Sharo, and Sherea. My thoughts & prayers are with you all.
Lynn Whitley FloydOdessa, TX
From the time I moved here 4 years ago Ray Ann was a great part of my life. During my interview with Odessa College, she heard that I had been in the Optimist Club and she quickly grabbed me and had me in the Optimist Club of Odessa. She was such a delight to be around and work with both with Odessa College and the Optimist. I'll miss her as both a friend and mentor.
Shawn ShrevesOdessa, TX
My deepest condolences to the Zant family and their friends.
UGOCHUKWU ANIETOOdessa, TX