Raymond Arthur Johnson

Born: Thu., Mar. 22, 1928
Died: Sat., Apr. 26, 2014


Celebration of Life

11:00 AM Sat., May 17, 2014
Location: Peace Lutheran Church


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Raymond Johnson, 86, of Pendleton, Oregon, passed away at his home on April 26, 2014, with his loving wife and children beside him. He was born March 22, 1928, in Shelby, Montana, to Gena and Harry Johnson and was one of nine children. Ray attended school in Shelby and was a standout athlete. He graduated in 1946 and went on to play basketball for Montana State University, graduating in 1951 with a degree in education.

Ray met the love of his life and six months later he married Jean Lighter on January 11, 1952. Their six-month courtship turned into 62 years of marriage. Shortly after, Ray was drafted by the Minnesota Lakers as well as Uncle Sam. He went to serve our country in the Army during the Korean War. Post-war, he taught and coached in Montana and Wyoming, then in 1960 went into the insurance business in Pendleton, which he retired from when he was 72. They had three daughters: Alanna, Carolyn and Terri, and finally their son, Walter. They raised their family in Hillsboro and moved back to Pendleton nearly 20 years ago.

Ray loved to travel. Family vacations were a “big deal” and often the motorhome was loaded up for the next eventful family road trip! He was an avid sports fan, with football and golf his favorites. His golfing highlights consists of getting 3 hole-in-ones; the first when he was 72. His other proud moment was when he “shot his age” at 70 years old! He loved to fish and hunt, especially pheasants and ducks. He shared this love of hunting with his son Walt, son-in-law Randy and his grandsons. One of his biggest passions, however, was being able to attend his children’s and grandchildren’s sporting events. Ray and Jean traveled many miles to support their athletes, and of course to watch his beloved Beavers!

Ray was a man who needs to be remembered for his dedication to family, friends and community. Although Ray was inducted into the Montana State Hall of Fame in 1993 for basketball, he’d be the first to tell you that his “hall of fame” was his family. He considered his kids’ and grandkids’ friends to be family to him and loved the time spent together.

Ray was a member of the Elks and an active member of Peace Lutheran Church, where he served as council president. He was a huge supporter of the youth of the congregation. He loved Buckaroo Football and did what he could to help behind the scenes.

He is survived by his wife, Jean; daughters Alanna Piel, Carolyn (Randy) Brandsen of Pendleton, Terri (Steve) Weisbrodt of Salem; daughter-in-law Stacey Johnson of Pendleton; his grandchildren Creed, Shelby, Zack, Jake, Ashley, Brett, Tanya, Connor and Caitlin, and great-grandchildren Aurora, Ryder and Willow. He is also survived by his brothers, LeRoy and Wesley Johnson. He is preceded in death by parents, Harry and Gena Johnson; siblings Edith, Walt, Frank, Lenore, Gene, Ralph and Wilfred; and beloved son Walter.

Ray touched the lives of many people. He will be remembered fondly for his wonderful smile, his compassionate heart for others, his competitive spirit and his amazing faith in his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. at Peace Lutheran on Saturday, May 17, 2014.

Memorial contributions for those who wish may be made to the Buck Boosters, St. Anthony Hospice or Peace Lutheran Church through Pendleton Pioneer Chapel at 131 S.E. Byers Avenue, Pendleton, OR 97801

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Eleventh Hour Warriors
   Posted Fri May 16, 2014
We are so sorry for your loss. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

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