Ray & Sharon Turley
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Ray and Sharon Turley

Ray Turley moved into Moapa Valley in 1964 to start a job with Nevada Power Company. That’s where he met Sharon Perkins, a secretary with the company. They celebrated their 54th anniversary in May 2021.

During his high school years in California, Ray often attended drag races, a sport he enjoyed immensely. The responsibilities of adulthood pushed that passion onto a back burner, as he focused his attention on work and raising a family. Then, approximately 10 years ago, when he was introducing Sharon to the sport at a California event—he decided to purchase a new $30,000 race car. He’s been racing ever since.

“It’s a strange 11 second sport,” says Ray. “You drive hundreds of miles to race for only 11 seconds.” Sharon nods. “But there’s a strong sense of community in drag racing,” Ray explains. “We’ve made a lot of really good friends. In that way, it’s like any other good sport that’s family oriented.”

Sharon’s hobbies include collecting build-a-bears (she currently has 16 bears and more than a thousand outfits for them), and she’s passionate about major league baseball. “When we met,” she says, “I didn’t know anything about drag racing, and Ray didn’t know anything about major league baseball.” Ray is now a Dodgers fan, and Sharon regularly attends major league Spring Training with her daughters and granddaughters.

When asked the secret to a great marriage, Ray responds with a twinkle in his eye, “I think we just tolerate each other. I feign to be interested and so does she—so it works out.” They both laugh. Ray continues, “We’ve been a great fit.” Sharon jumps in, “We’ve got great kids and Ray’s been a great supporter. We have a lot of fun together.”

“Moapa Valley is a great place to raise kids,” says Sharon. “There were a lot of church and school activities and our kids were involved in all of them. They made great friends.”

“I’ve worked in 26 states and four foreign countries,” Ray notes. “And we always come back to Moapa Valley. We could have lived anywhere we wanted. We’ve seen this whole country, and lived in most of it—and right here in this valley is where we want to be.”

Update from 2023:

This past year has been a time of change. Sharon lost her beloved husband Ray, who passed away last year. She misses him but is able to spend a lot of time with family. Sharon and her sister took an epic journey that brought them to California, Nevada, Utah, Oregon and Arizona—a whopping 2,500 miles in 12 days. She looks forward to other opportunities to travel but also enjoys staying home and spending time with her family in the valley. Born and raised in the area, Sharon enjoys that she has generations of history in Moapa Valley. She loves the people here and is thankful for all the support they give her.