Richard F. “Dick” Ray, age 84 of rural of Darlington passed away Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016 at his home. He was born Oct. 18, 1931 in Lamont Township, Lafayette County, the son of Francis and Violet (Paxton) Ray. Dick lived and farmed in the Darlington area his entire life. He served in the United States Navy from 1952 until 1956. Dick was united in marriage to Brenda White on Sept. 24, 1956 in Monroe. Later that year Dick and Brenda began farming in Darlington Township, where they have resided since. In 2000, he retired from farming but continued to do custom farm work with Bill Nethery until 2007.
Dick is survived by his wife: Brenda at home; six children: Deborah (Randy) Loken of Darlington, Donna (Karl Baker) Ray of Niota, Tenn., Deena (Robert) Gabel of rural Darlington, Richard (Debbie) Ray of Trempealeau, Beth (Tom) Weber of Marengo, Ill., and Rande Ray of LaCrosse; ten grandchildren: Bryan (Becky Watzka) Alm, Erik (Stephanie) Alm, Ryan Loken, Suzanne (Ryan) Winkler, Abby and Taylor Gabel, Matthew Weber, Alexi (Bob) Squires, and Malcolm and Darian Ray; five great-grandchildren: Kadynce and Dax Alm, Liam and Lucy Winkler, and Mia Squires; and one brother: Larry (Lynn) Ray of Webster, Wis. He was preceded in death by his parents; three brothers: Robert, Art, and Jimmy Ray; and one sister: Helen Ray.
Dick was a member of Bates-O’Brien-Howe-Wiegel-Roelli American Legion Post #214 of Darlington and Pecatonica Valley Antique Club. He was a past member of the Darlington Archery Club. Dick enjoyed flying his plane around Darlington and playing Rap Poker, Euchre, and Yass with his friends at Annie’s and Cribbage with his family. Dick’s family will always remember him for knowing which cards everybody held and if they played the wrong card. He will be sadly missed and fondly remembered by his family and friends.
A funeral services were held Friday, Feb. 19, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. at Immanuel United Church of Christ (339 East Louisa Street, Darlington) with Rev. Larry Balleine officiating. Burial was in Holy Rosary Cemetery in Darlington where military graveside rites were accorded by Bates-O’Brien-Howe-Wiegel-Roelli American Legion Post #214. A visitation was held Friday, Feb. 19, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. until 10:45 a.m. at the church. The Erickson Funeral Home in Darlington is serving the family. Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www.ericksonfuneralhome.com.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established in Dick’s name.