Ray Fryling was born in 1966 in Ohio to David Fryling Sr. and Ruth Fryling. He was the first child born to the couple. However, his father had four children from a previous marriage and Ruth had a son from a previous relationship. Later, David and Ruth had a daughter together as well.
The family moved from Ohio to Tennessee. They lived in a VW Bus for a while before moving into a small cabin on the mountain. David Fryling Sr. worked as a Baker. Ruth was a stay at home Mom to no less than seven children. She home schooled them for a bit before sending them to a Christian School.
The family was active in the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Because of their mother’s strong religious beliefs they were raised as Vegetarians. They were not allowed to watch TV or listen to Rock music on the radio. Ray recalled watching The Waltons on TV at the neighbor’s house. Later, he pulled a TV from the trash and fixed it so he could watch TV in secret at home.
After a lynching in town of a black couple, David Fryling Sr. moved the family back to Ohio. Eventually, David and Ruth divorced. Ray Fryling lived briefly with his grandmother before asking to be enrolled in Mount Vernon Christian Academy in Mount Vernon, Ohio. His Uncle taught music there. Ray attended school at MVCA until the 11th Grade. While he attended classes, he also worked part time to pay his own tuition. In school, he played basketball and football. He was also in band and played a number of instruments.
Ray was 18 when he moved in with his father and step-mother. He worked at his father’s bakery at night. In the morning he went to High Point Vocational School. After he graduated High School in 1985 he enlisted in the US Army. He was deployed to South Korea in 1989. While he was in the Army, Ray sent a large portion of his pay back to his mother Ruth, who did not work. David Fryling Sr. died while Ray was overseas. He had to come back for his father’s funeral in Ohio.
Later, Ray was deployed to Kuwait in December of 1990. He fought in Desert Storm in the Spring of 1991. The war left an indelible imprint on him. He returned to the US a changed man. He was not diagnosed with PTSD until many years later though. Ray was stationed in Germany for three years after that. In the Mid-1990s he was stationed at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs.
During his time in the US Army he acquired many certificates and awards. He was a Sargent by the time his made it to Colorado. Ray took care of his men and they all looked up to him. They came to him with their relationship problems and Ray always listened and tried to helped them. He was often assigned the misfits, but was able to get them to work together successfully.
While in Colorado Springs he decided not to re-enlist in the army. Instead, he focused on his Construction Company. He and his brother built a number of houses in the area. It was during this time that he met his future wife. He fell in love with her and grew quite attached to her two sons. The love of his life moved to Missouri in 1999 to help take care of her aging Grandparents. Ray followed her to Missouri and proposed to her. She said yes and they married several months later. He has lived in the Barry-Lawrence County area ever since.
Ray worked at The Post Office for a number of years. He also worked as salesman for a car dealership and he shoed horses for a time. Shortly after the birth of his son, he decided to become a truck driver. He drove truck for over five years. Things fell apart at home and suddenly he found himself facing a messy divorce.
I met Ray on Facebook in 2012. We talked about our divorces and our lives. Ray soon came to meet me in Denver, Colorado. I brought my kids to meet him when we went out to eat. They took to him immediately. By the end of November that year we made our relationship Facebook official. We didn’t see each other for nine months after that though!
I visited Ray in Missouri two times and he visited me in Colorado another time before I moved to Missouri to be with him. I moved to Monett in August of 2014 and moved in with Ray. Together we moved to Stotts City in 2015. During this time he published his book White Wolf Survival.
Ray is an avid reader. He loves Science Fiction and Fantasy books, including Game of Thrones. He also loves Thrillers and Westerns. He has read every book Louis L’Amour has written. Lee Child is another one of his favorite authors along with WEB Griffin, Clive Cussler, Tom Clancy. He reads nonfiction books on gardening, frontier life and financial planning. Ray also plays chess and board games like Risk.
Ray attended some college classes while in the Army. In 2015 he enrolled at Crowder Collage. He graduated with his Associates in 2017. Then he enrolled at Missouri Southern State University to get a Bachelors Degree. He withdrew from college late 2018. He was granted complete disability from the VA not too long after that.
Ray bought a trailer and moved to the farm in Verona in 2017. I was always welcome to move with him, but I declined. The Trailer he had purchased was too small for all of us. I opted to get an apartment instead. The plan was to eventually buy the land and and build a house on it. I was going to move back in with him once the house was built. But life had other plans.
Ray has a big heart and is always happy to give someone a place stay if they need it. For a while Ray’s brother lived in Verona in his own trailer. In October of 2018, his brother moved. Ray’s stepson stayed out there briefly. Then Ray let Matthew Abney stay out there. Ray just wanted to help Matt get back on his feet and get his life together. But then Matt brought out others stay as well. This was an emotional and financial drain on Ray, which is why Ray decided to move and NOT tell Matt where he was moving to.
In October of 2019, Ray moved from the farm in Verona. We got engaged and decided that after we married, we were going to buy a house together. Ray was focused on taking care of his son and did not want to do anything that would prevent him from seeing his son on a regular basis. His main goal in life is to take care of and provide for those loves. He is a caregiver, sometimes to his own detriment.
We were celebrating our life and love together when Matt was arrested on parole violations. When questioned about the disappearance of his roommate Coy Cole, Matt falsely accused Ray of murder. I am not sure why he turned on the man who was only trying to help him. The best I can figure is that Matt was looking at 3 years already and did not want to do another 20 to life on top of all that.
All I know for sure is that our lives were put on hold when the Prosecution jumped the gun and arrested Ray based solely on Matt’s wild story, which was later proven to be untrue. Ray has no criminal record while Matt has a rap sheet a mile long. It is a puzzle as to why they would believe Matt in the first place. Nothing about Matt’s statement made any sense to those who know Ray.
I was heartbroken by not only the arrest, but the treatment Ray received in the press. Everyone was going to see him as a dangerous murderer instead of the kind and loving husband and father he is. The general public was never going to know how well he has treated me in the seven years we have been together. Nobody was going to know how he took care of my children when I was in the hospital for five weeks and then took care of me when I was healing at home from my surgery. Nobody was going to know who gave me a place to belong and feel safe. Nobody was going to know the man I love.
So, I decided to write this blog. Ray is a private person and would have objected to me writing about his life, but I felt strongly that the public had a right to know the real Ray. Not the one from the news.