Bennie Ray Schafer of Lonoke, Ark., passed away surrounded by his family on Thursday, December 26, 2013, at the age of 71.

Bennie Ray loved his family and had a long list of friends. He enjoyed his time with nature, a lifetime of numerous dogs and time tending to his cows. Mr. Schafer grew up in Lonoke and graduated from Lonoke High School and continued his education at UCA in Conway with a B.S. in biology. He married and had two daughters, Mrs. Callie Caldwell married to David Caldwell of Lonoke and Mrs. Jennifer Merriman married to Keith Merriman of Memphis, Tenn.

Bennie Ray farmed fish with his brother Jerry Schafer in north Lonoke. His sister Cindy Jackson and her husband Jim loved him very much and they cared for him until his last breath. He is survived by his grandchildren William Merriman, Ben Merriman, Winston Merriman, Maddie Grace Merriman, Judson Caldwell and Jude Caldwell; his brother Jerry Schafer (Nellie Ann), nephew Neil Schafer and grand-nephew Dereck Schafer. He is also survived by his nephews Chris Jackson, Brandon Jackson and niece Leeza Jackson. Bennie Ray’s kind spirit will be greatly missed.

Funeral services were held Sunday, December 29, 2013 at Boyd Funeral Home in Lonoke, Ark. Visitation began at 1:00 p.m. and funeral services began at 2:00 p.m.