So live, that when thy summons comes to join
The innumerable caravan, which moves
To that mysterious realm, where each shall take
His chamber in the silent halls of death,
Thou go not, like the quarry- slave at night,
Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.
-William Cullen Bryant
Warner C. Ray's long and blessed life came to a close November 30, 2012. He was 96 years old.
W.C. was born in Tracy, Minn., September 25, 1916, the youngest of four children. Following high school graduation, he enlisted in the military and saw active service in North Africa and Italy during the Second World War. On leave from the war, he reacquainted with Vivian Hillstrom, also of Tracy, with whom he fell in love and married April 26, 1945. They had three daughters, Wendy, of Ashland, Rhonda, of Portland, and Robin, of Carbondale, Ill., and remained faithfully and happily married for 61 years until Vivian's death in 2007.
At the war's end he chose to make service in the U.S. Army his career, rising through the ranks to Commissioned Officer. His career took him throughout the U.S. and the world, traveling with his family, highlighted by three tours in Germany. Following his service, he worked for General Electric in Chicago as a copywriter for 10 years. He moved to Ashland with Vivian in 1976 for his retirement, a town he dearly loved for the remainder of his life.
A devoted husband, father, and grandfather, love of his family and patriotic service to his country were the centerpieces of Warner's life. In addition to his three daughters, he is survived by four granddaughters, Amanda, Freya, Sonia Rose, and Hopi; one great-granddaughter, Bella; two sons-in-law, Lawrence and Robert; one grandson-in-law, Jeff; and numerous nephews and nieces. He was an adamant antique collector, a lover of German culture, and an appreciator of art and country music. He loved to travel, write, draw, recite poetry, and engage in creative projects. He was known for his quick wit and his sense of humor.
W.C. was a longtime member of the First Presbyterian Church of Ashland. Final arrangements are a private family service at the church to be followed by inurnment at Eagle Point National Cemetery. The family would like to express our deepest gratitude to Ashwood Senior Home and all neighbors and friends for their support and love. In lieu of flowers, donations to the First Presbyterian Church of Ashland or Ashwood Senior Home would be appreciated.
Arrangements by Litwiller-Simonsen Funeral Home, Ashland, Oregon. www.litwillersimonsen.com