OTTUMWA — Raymond L. McCreery, 86, passed away peacefully on June 7, 2013, in the company of a close family member and lifelong friend at Good Samaritan Center of Ottumwa.
Ray grew up in small farming communities near Ottumwa and graduated from Hedrick High School in 1943. He obtained a degree in education from the University of Iowa and taught for a while in southeast Iowa school systems before serving in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War.
Raymond married Frances Bernice “Bernie” Guthrie, a graduate of Fremont High School, and had their first son, Ronald, in 1951 while stationed at Lewis-McChord Army Base in Tacoma, Wash. Two more sons would follow, Randall in 1954 and Rick in 1957.
A career in insurance would require Ray and Bernie’s young family to live at times in Decatur, Ill., Peoria, Ill., Royal Oak, Mich., and later returning to Illinois to live in Rockford and Freeport. When Ray and Bernie “retired,” they opened a bed and breakfast in Lamoni and operated an antiques shop at the same location.
When their first grandson, Michael, was born in Michigan, Ray and Bernie were there as returning residents to Traverse City, Mich. They loved square dancing, family cookouts, lots of reading and doting on their grandson, Michael.
Ray was always known as a “gentleman,” an intelligent, generous, well-spoken person of integrity. He moved to Ottumwa to be closer to family and friends after the passing of his wife, Bernie, in July of 2000. Ray is survived by his three sons, a grandson, two sisters-in-law, three brothers-in-law, many nieces and nephews, their children and many friends in Michigan, Iowa and Illinois.
Memorial donations can be directed to Alzheimer’s research.
A memorial service is scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday at Fremont Funeral Chapel, Fremont. A luncheon will follow.