Cover photo for John G. Ray's Obituary
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John

John G. Ray

d. September 7, 2013

John Gordon Ray, 95, passed away Saturday, September 7 of causes incidental to age at Safe Haven Nursing Home. John was born January 4, 1918 outside Chester, Nebraska to Eugene Ray, Sr. and Caroline Poh Ray. He was the 6th child of 7 of the Rays. Ethel, Harlan, Nona, Gus and Myrtle were older and Max was younger. His father was born in 1874 near Hannibal, Missouri and his mother in 1883 in Chester. His grandfather, J. B. Ray, was born before the Civil War. John married his first wife, Grace, in the 1930's. They had two children, Donna and Harlan. They were later divorced. John then married the love of his life, Verline M. Young from Shelley, Idaho, in the mid-1940's. Verline had lost her first husband in the World War II and met John, who stopped his Greyhound bus at the drug store where she worked in Shelley. John drove Greyhound bus for 41 years. He and Verline lived in Shelley and moved to Pocatello in the 1960's. He also helped harvest potatoes and drive tractor for his brother-in-law Glen Christensen. John was like a second father to his numerous nieces and nephews. He took many of them on his bus to various parts of the country, mostly Seattle, SLC, West Yellowstone and Twin Falls. John was always ready with a story or a joke. He had stories about all of his relatives and relished embarrassing them with an embellished version of the story. One of his stories was he gave his 9 year old nephew Dana a descented baby skunk as a gift. He was delighted when Dana named the skunk Verline. He told that story for 50 years. John was a great neighbor. He connected to all of his neighbors and was a second Grandpa to one of the neighborhood kids Kasey Hacking. John used to tell a story about Kasey. John said Kasey lived behind them and when Kasey was 5 or 6 he used to climb the fence and jump into John's backyard. He would then run through the yard coming out front and he called it his shortcut. Kasey's yard was higher than John's and one day Kasey jumped over and got caught on the chain link fence and just hung there by his overalls, unable to go up or down and started hollering. John came out and told him he was going to leave him there as a lesson for Kasey. He then walked back into the house. He and Verline had a good laugh about that for a minute until they went out and got him down. He also was close with Jim and Nancy and Don and Ruth. He was well known for his love of animals. He worked at the Pocatello Zoo during retirement and always had a small dog as a companion. His favorite was little Paddy Wagon, with whom he would take for a ride on his big Honda motorcycle. All of the neighborhood would laugh and talk to John and Paddy Wagon as he cruised the streets. John kept his yard meticulous. It was always trimmed and neat. He took great pride in his yard and Verline did the same with her flowers. John was a unique and special guy. He had a zest for life that was unquenchable. He had a big booming laugh and could make anyone feel welcome and friendly. John was also one tough old bird. His upbringing on a Nebraska farm with a team of horses taught him how to work and work he did most of his life. What a special man he was. John and Verline were active in their Jehovah Witness church. No services are planned and cremation has taken place at John's request. Inurnment will be a family ceremony at a later date. Condolences to the family can be made on line at colonial-funeralhome.com. Many thanks to the staff at Safe Haven Nursing Home and Access Home and Hospice; especially Jan Burpee and Connie McNeil, for the care John received. Also many thanks to Lucille Ray of Hebron, Nebraska, John's sister in law and the widow of John's younger brother Max.

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