"I have fought a good fight, I have kept the faith....II Timothy In Los Angles, California on a cold winters day in 1958, December 23, to be exact, Claudia English was blessed with the most precious gift from God; a bouncing baby boy whom she named Donald Ray, only to be affectionately known by his family and close friends as "Fairchild". Being as he was the most beautiful baby she had ever seen, her heart melted as she wrapped all her love and devotion around this blessed child. At an early age, Donald Ray united with First Baptist Church-Cordell under the pastoral leadership of Rev. T.P. Johnson, where he served on the Junior Usher Board and attended Sunday School and bible study faithfully. Fairchild was a graduate of El Dorado High School Class of 1977, where he was noted as the "most handsome" and was a member of the Afro-Club and football team. Following high school, he attended the University of Central Arkansas(UCA) in Conway, where his focus of study was Criminal Law. He subsequently enlisted in the United States Navy and received an honorable discharge in 1980. While in California, he worked at Kaiser Hospital and after the accident, which left him a para- plegic, he took up residence there as an extended stay patient during his lengthy recovery period. Although he was a patient, his charm and charisma always enabled him to maintain a positive attitude and keep company with the best-looking nurses on staff.(As his friends note; some things just never change, he always had a way with women.) Fairchild enjoyed playing dominoes, checkers and was an all Dallas Cowboys Football fan. His grandmother, Alberta English, grandfather, A.W. English and one aunt, Lula Adams, precede him in death. His loving memories will be cherished by his loving and devoted mother, Claudia M. English of El Dorado, Arkansas; special cousins, Mary Ann Kissie, Gertha Reed, Augusta(EddieMae)Ivory, Jeannan Bradford, Donald Pinkney, Leveret Kissie, Jr.(Cantia) all of Shreveport, Louisiana and the Gaffords of El Dorado, Arkansas; sisters, Jacqueline Comer of Woodridge, Illinois and Alicia(Charles) McClelland of El Dorado, Arkansas; one god-child, Yasmine McClelland; three nieces, Armenthia McClelland of Little Rock, Arkansas, Sarenthia McClelland of Fayetville, Arkansas and Traka Martyniuk of Woodbridge, Illinois; two special aunts, Lula(John)Carthan and Irene(Jimmy)Howard; active grandmother, Ada Brown all of El Dorado, Arkansas and a close friend, Florine Kersee of Shreveport, Louisiana; special caretaker Ralph Jones of El Dorado, Arkansas a host of cousins, friends, classmates and loved ones who will miss him immensely. A Homegoing celebration for Donald Ray will be held on Saturday, April 11, 2009 at 11:00 a.m. at First Baptist Church-Cordell, El Dorado, Arkansas with Rev. Pierce Moore officiating. Entombment will follow in the Arlington Memorial Park, El Dorado, Arkansas under the direction of the Sims Mortuary Staff. Visitation at the funeral home will be on Friday, April 10, 2009 from 9:00am-5:00pm and Saturday, April 11, from 8-9am. The body will be placed in the church at 10:00am for viewing until funeral time. No viewing after the service.
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