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Robert E. Ray 1927-2015
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HOISINGTON — Robert E. Ray, 88, died Dec. 20, 2015, at Great Bend Health and Rehabilitation Center. Born June 17, 1927, in Wichita, he was the son of Ralph E. and Thelma (Frakes) Ray.  In 1948, he married Wanda L. Williams. They later divorced. He then married Judy K. Nickels on Dec. 31, 1969, in Sterling.
When Robert was 17, he enlisted in the Navy and served in World War II as a Fireman First Class. After returning from the war he worked many places, but most recently as a truck driver for both the oil fields and the Sterling Co-Op. Robert was also a beekeeper and owned and operated R.J. Apiary.
Mr. Ray served as a councilman for the City of Hoisington after retirement and was a member of the zoning commission after the 2001 tornado. He was a member of the local Horseshoe Club and was a 50 year member of the Masons along with being a worthy patron of the Order of the Eastern Star.  
Survivors include his wife of 45 years, Judy K. Ray, of the home; a daughter, Debbie Laudermilk and husband Terry of Wichita; two grandchildren, Ryan Laudermilk of Topeka, and Cara Cramer and husband Dan of Wichita; two great-granddaughters, Alice Cramer and soon to be expected baby girl Cramer; mother-in-law Wanda P. Witt of Claflin; brother Art Ray and wife Sharon of Siletz, Oregon; nephew, Gerry Ray of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; a niece, Laurie Schmit and husband Gerry of Houston, Texas; and two great-nephews, Andrew Schmit and wife Samantha of Columbus, Ohio and Michael Schmit of Houston, Texas.
Graveside services will be held at 2 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 28 at Sterling Community Cemetery, with honors by the United States Navy Honor Guard. Friends may sign the book now until Monday at the funeral home. There will be no viewing as cremation has taken place. In lieu of flowers and food, family would prefer memorials to Kans for Kids or the Hoisington Public Library, in care of the funeral home. Condolences may be sent and notice viewed at

Funeral arrangements provided by
Nicholson-Ricke Funeral Home*
P.O. Box 146
Hoisington, KS 67544
Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, Dec. 23, 2015