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Ray Ann Zant
November 5, 1941  -  May 7, 2017


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

Pall Bearers:
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

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