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1917 Hilda 2016

Hilda M. Ray

July 21, 1917 — February 28, 2016

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

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 3:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. Thursday at the Holechek Funeral Home in Chappell. The family will be present during the visitation.

She was born in Fort Dodge, Iowa to Wilbur C. and Stella L. Beers Huddleson, on July 21, 1917.The family moved to Boone, Iowa in August, 1925. Hilda attended Boone High School and graduated in 1935. She attended Iowa State College in Ames, Iowa. She then transferred to Felt-Tarrant Comptometer School in Omaha, Ne and graduated in 1938. After which she was employed by state office of the Department of Agriculture in Lincoln, NE. 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, Ne. They celebrated their 65th 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, IL 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.

Billy was released from prison camp in May, 1947, they were united in Denver on VE Day May 7th and moved to Chappell, Ne. 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.

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

One of the highlights of her life was when she was crowned Deuel County Fair Queen 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, NE and Steve and wife Janie Ray of Fort Collins,CO, eight 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. Twelve Great Grandchildren: Adelyn, Alexa and Cohen Haden, Lucy and Sadie White, Billy, Casey, and Bobby Ray, Josie Ray, Lane Rathmen and Logan and Addison Waters.

Holechek Funeral Home and Cremations in Chappell is serving the Ray family.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Hilda M. Ray, please visit our flower store.


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