William Gordon Ray of Creston, Iowa was lovingly welcomed by his Savior to his heavenly home, on February 25, 2017 leaving this life at the Creston Nursing and Rehab Care Center in Creston. A Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 18, 2017 at the Powers Funeral Home, junction of highways 34 and 25 in Creston. Rev. Jim Morris will officiate. Interment will be at Graceland Cemetery south of Creston with military graveside rites by the Theodore J Martens Post 1797, Creston VFW. Open visitation will be from 2-7 p.m. on Friday, March 17 with family receiving friends from 5-7 p.m. at the funeral home. Memorials may be made to the Jerusalem United Methodist Church of Creston or Creston Animal Rescue Effort. Online condolences can be made at www.powerfh.com.
William Gordon Ray was born September 8, 1927 at his maternal grandparents' home in Adams County, Iowa to Grace Roseletta (Hoskinson) Ray and William Albert Ray. He was the oldest of three children. He grew up in Adams County in the rural family home which his father built. After graduating early from Creston High School, Bill served in the U.S. Army and then was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy. In 1951, he graduated with a degree in Animal Husbandry from Iowa State University. On June 17, 1951 he married the love of his life, Loretta Mabel Agan in Dallas, Iowa. They shared 65 wonderful devoted years together. Following his graduation and marriage, he and Loretta lived just west of Kent, Iowa where he farmed with his father. A daughter, Martha, was born in 1952 and a son, William, Jr. was born in 1954. The family moved to Ames, Iowa in 1955 when Bill began employment with Doane Agricultural Services Company as a farm manager and rural appraiser for several counties. A daughter, Margaret, was born in 1955. In 1957, the family moved to a new home in Nevada, Iowa. In 1962 a son, Wesley was born. Bill continued to work for the company until he accepted a position in 1965 as farm manager with First Trust & Savings Bank in Kankakee, IL where he worked until 1970. He then returned to the family farm for about a year before moving into Creston where he lived the remainder of his life. After moving to Creston, Bill worked as a real estate agent/broker and then later as an insurance agent for Farm Bureau Insurance Agency. He and Loretta also owned and operated the Dairy Sweet in Creston from 1971-74 before deciding to move the building to Afton as the newly named Stars and Stripes drive-in restaurant from 1974-81. Bill began his own appraisal business – Ray Appraisal in 1981 and retired from the business in June 2011. His son, Wes, was his partner during that time. During those years, Bill taught real estate pre-licensing at Southwestern Community College and Indian Hills Community College. He was also a member and past president of the Iowa Chapter of the National Association of Master Appraisers and the Bluegrass Board of Realtors. He had also actively participated in Toastmasters, Lions, and Kiwanis, serving as president in each.
Bill had a strong Christian faith and was active in the United Methodist Church in Ames, Nevada, Kankakee and Creston. During those years he served as Sunday school teacher, worked with youth, served on many committees, and was a lay speaker for the United Methodist Church. He and Loretta had a deep love for their church family at Jerusalem United Methodist Church. Bill had a great variety of interests such as gardening, reading, carpentry, music, camping, traveling, a love of dogs, and watching the Army-Navy football game. His greatest love was spending time with his wife, Loretta, his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. By example he showed his family how to have fun and how to love, be honest, respect and truly care for others.
The family wishes to express their gratitude to the wonderful loving care and friendship that Care Initiative and Hospice has given to Bill and Loretta in the short year they have lived there.
Survivors include his wife, Loretta of Creston; daughter, Martha Roseletta (Bill) Monroe of Jefferson, IA; son, Wesley James Ray of Ft. Dodge, IA; five grandchildren, Amanda (Mike) Hendrickson of Rochester, MN; Andrea (Andy) Baker of Oskaloosa, IA, Dr. Jared (Heather) Adams, M.D. of OK; Nathan (Vickie) Adams of Dallas, TX and William G. 'Liam' Ray, III (who was named in honor of his grandfather and Uncle Will) of Ft. Dodge, IA ; five great-grandchildren, Katherine and Emily Hendrickson, Annalysa and Daniel Baker, and Jae Adams; three sisters-in-law - Shirley Ray of Lenox, IA, Mary Schrader of Melcher-Dallas, IA and Janet (David) Ritchie of Knoxville, IA; and many nieces and nephews. Bill was preceded in death by his parents; his son William Gordon Ray, Jr. in 1972 and daughter Margaret Mary (Ray) Adams in 2012; a sister, Lillian Beatty and brother W.D. 'Doug' Ray.
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