GRINNELL — Donald Ray, 97, of Grinnell and formerly of Oskaloosa and Tracy, died Monday evening, May 5, 2014, at the Grinnell Regional Medical Center.
Donald George Ray, son of John and Effie Eldora Lundy Ray, was born Oct. 22, 1916 in Tracy. He attended school in Tracy and as a young man went to work at the Weldon Limestone Company, where he served as a foreman. Don left that position for a year when he worked in Alaska on the Alcan Military Highway. He was back home operating his own limestone hauling business when he was drafted into the U.S. Army, Jan. 15, 1945. Don served for 13 months in the Asiatic Pacific Theater and in occupied Japan as a Construction Foreman with Co. D, 165th Infantry and the 720th Military Police Battalion. He was discharged as a Corporal, Aug. 23, 1946. Don returned to Tracy where he began his career as a heavy equipment operator. He was a member of the Operating Engineers Local 234 of Des Moines, Iowa, Local 9 of Denver, Colo., Local 250 of Houston, Texas and Local 3 of San Francisco, Calif. Dec. 28, 1958, he married Retha Miriam Nash in Richmond, Texas. He retired from heavy equipment in 1975. At that time, Don and Retha moved to Craig, Colo., where he served as the general manager of Craig Machine for 2 years and then as general manager with Craig Electric Motor and Machine until 1983. At that time Don and Retha moved to Oskaloosa where they managed the King Lear Motel for 10 years. Don retired in 1992. He was a member of the American Legion, the Eagles Lodge and the V.F.W. Don enjoyed flying and gardening.
Don’s family includes his wife, Retha of over 50 years, a brother and sister-in-law, Henry and Lillian Ray, of Tracy, three daughters; Cherie and Don Young, of Montezuma; Sharon Ramona and Vernon Burris, of Oklahoma City, OK; and Linda and Ted Smith of Beacon, IA; and two sons; Don and Judy of Carlisle, IA; and Gary and Maxine De Wild of Denver, Colorado; 10 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren and 14 great-great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.