Robert Melvin Ray, peacefully passed away at the age of 93 at Angel’s Touch Assisted Living in De Pere on Monday, July 18, no doubt dreaming of Irene. Since her death in 2019, Bob ached over the loss of Irene. Recently he had accepted her death and is now at peace.
Bob was born in Chicago on December 15, 1928 to Melvin and Thelma (Olsen) Ray. It was while attending Taft High School that he met the love of his life, Irene Dubois.
He and Irene married in 1950. In 1971 after twenty years of marriage and five children, they moved to Alaska, Wisconsin. He worked for Sinclair Oil in Chicago and Green Bay and later Calumet Co. in Algoma. He also worked at Alaska Golf Course well into his 80’s, helping maintain the course and equipment.
He was active in sports and played softball in Kewaunee as well as being a member of the Kewaunee Men’s Golf league.
One summer while still in high school, he visited his uncles on Prince Rupert Sound and learned to fish salmon. This experience sparked an interest in adventure and the open sea. Years later, while in his fifties, he partnered with a high school friend on purchasing a sail boat. With a crew of four, they sailed from Aruba, through the Panama Canal, and across the Pacific to the Marquesas Islands.
The one thing that best defined Bob was his sense of humor, he loved all people and especially loved making them laugh. When coaxed at family gatherings, he would recite from memory, “ The Cremation of Sam McGee” , to the delight of his children and grandchildren.
Bob is survived by children Mary (Kes) Smith, Norman (Judy) Ray, Daniel (Julie) Ray, Sally Lord, and daughter-in-law Pam Ray. Grandchildren Amanda Harris, Jason (Haiyin) Harris, Heidi (Chris) Jones, Tim (Sarah) Ray, Derek (Bridget) Ray, Jim (Jamie) Ray, Kurt (Holly) Ray, Robert Ray, (Special friend, Katie) Ethan Ray, (Special friend, Paty), Helen and George Lord. Great-grandchildren Vivian and Edwin Harris; Wyatt and Evan Funk; Colin and Cole Ray; Brogan, Liam and Cate Ray; Ruby and Calum Ray; McKenzie, Tegan and Kennedy Ray; Natalie and Aoife Ray; and Emiliano Ramirez. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Irene, son Steven Ray, his parents, Melvin Ray and Thelma (Olsen) Ray, brother Warren Ray and sister-in-law Jean Ray, son-in-law Robert Lord, grandchildren Jacqueline Ray, Carrie Ray, and great grandchild Maisie Ray.
Friends and family will gather at Schinderle Funeral Home, Algoma, Thursday, July 21, from 4:00 to 7:00, with anyone wishing to speak about Bob after 7:00.
The family would like to thank the staff at Angel’s Touch for their tender care and love as well as Moments Hospice.