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Hilda M. Ray

1917 to 2016

 

Hilda M. Ray passed away peacefully on Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016, at the age of 98, at her home in Chappell.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m., Friday, March 4, 2016, in the Chappell United Methodist Church with Rev. David Abbott officiating. Burial will follow in the Chappell Cemetery.

Memorials have been designated to the United Methodist Church in Chappell and the Chappell Library.

Visitation will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 3, at the Holechek Funeral Home in Chappell. The family will be present during the visitation.

You can view the online obituary and share condolences with the family at http://www.holechekfuneralhomes.com

She was born in Fort Dodge, IA to Wilbur C. and Stella L. Beers Huddleson, on July 21, 1917. The family moved to Boone, IA, in August of 1925 and she attended school in Boone graduating from Boone High School on May of 1935. She then attended Iowa State College in Ames, IA. Then graduating from Felt-Tarrant Comptometer School at Omaha in 1937. After which she was employed by State office of the Department of Agriculture in Lincoln. While working there she met Billy G. Ray, also employed by the Department of Agriculture and they were married on March 11, 1941, in Ord. They celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary in 2006.

After the Pearl Harbor attack, Billy enlisted in the Army Air Corp and during his training she traveled with him. When he was called for duty in the European Theatre of war in Italy, she went to Illinois to be near her parents and other relatives. She lived in Canton, Ill. with her grandmother where she worked the night shift figuring payroll at the International Harvester plant. She took Red Cross Nurses Aid training and was a volunteer at Graham Hospital in Canton 20 hrs. a week. During this time, Billy was missing in action for several months and later was reported to be a prisoner of war in Germany.

He was released from prison camp in May of 1947; they were united in Denver on VE Day, May 7, and moved to Chappell, where they started the rest of their life. She has lived in Chappell for 69 years and enjoyed raising her family there.

They became the parents of 3 sons: Chris, Greg and Steve. Her family was her first priority. The Ray house was the gathering place for many of her son's friends. Many of these young friends continued to stay in contact with her throughout her life. They all enjoyed Hilda.

Music has been her very special interest and she shared her talents as a pianist. Hilda loved to play duets with Donna LaMore. They played for organizations and church when asked. She provided programs for the nursing home worship services and volunteered many times to play for the residents to brighten their afternoons.

She was a lifetime member of the United Methodist Church. Member of the Order of Eastern Star, and PEO for many years. She taught Sunday School and Bible School, and was a Cub Scout Den Mother.

One of the highlights of her life was when she was crowned Queen of the Deuel County Fair in 2002. She did many things for this community behind the scenes. This was a great recognition of her accomplishments.

She was very influential in the lives of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They were a very big part of her life and she loved them all.

Preceding her in death were her husband Billy, son Greg, her parents, and her sister and brother.

Hilda is survived by two sons Chris and wife Florence Ray of Chappell and Steve and wife Janie Ray of Fort Collins, Colo. 8 grandchildren: Jason Ray, Linsey and husband Matt Haden, Marti and husband Josh White, Nate Ray and wife Amy, Drew Ray, Joey Rathman and wife Sheila, Jan and partner Diane Waters, and Zharyl Younglund. 11 great-grandchildren: Lucy and Sadie White; Billy, Casey, and Bobby Ray; Josie Ray; Adelyn, Alexa and Cohen Haden; Lane Rathman; and Logan and Adisson Waters.

Holechek Funeral Home and Cremations in Chappell is serving the Ray family.

 

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