Ray was born in Frostburg, MD, to Eva and Vernon Rodda. Ray's mother was left to support her young family alone through the Great Depression after the death of her husband when Ray was a young boy. The thrift and self-discipline he learned through that experience remained with him throughout his life.
He served his country in the Navy. He was stationed in the Aleutian Islands and in the South Pacific. He later served his Lord in various roles in his church.
He eventually pursued doctoral studies in Industrial Education at the University of Missouri. He worked for the Department of Health, Education and Welfare training specialized mechanics throughout the eastern United States. He and his wife, Wilma, then made their home in Glenwood Springs where he taught auto mechanics at the Roaring Fork School District's Vocational Center.
His life was directed by his selflessness, his commitment to excellence, his ethical values and his faith. He endured his long illness with the same strength and perseverance that was apparent throughout his life. He was in the midst of people who loved him as he completed his journey home.
He is survived by Wilma, his wife of 60 years; by his daughter Jan Krische and his much-loved son-in-law Gil Krische of Glenwood Springs; by two grandchildren who were close to him his entire life: Travis Owen of Carbondale; Bethany (Andrzej) Ostrowski of Sydney, Australia, and by baby great-granddaughter, Lilah, who was journeying with her mom, Bethany, to meet her great-grandfather, arriving a few hours after his death. Granddaughter Leigh Ann (Marc) Jordan and great-grandson Myles of Conifer, CO, were also a happy presence in his more recent years.
He is also survived by family further removed geographically but still present in his prayers: stepdaughters Beth (Larry) Hill of Dallas; Connie (Ken) Druff of Los Angeles; grandchildren Alisha (Joseph) Nelson of Montana; Laurie Miles of Dallas; David (Cheryl) Jordan, Robert (Karen) Jordan and Jamie Goens of California. In addition to Myles and Lilah, he had five other great-grandchildren Paul and Joshua Brewer, Hayla Wright, Joshua and Sarah Jordan.
A family memorial service will be held in February. The family would welcome any memories or stories that friends or former students might wish to share. Please send to Jan Krische, 605 W 9th Pl, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent in Ray's honor to Open Gate Assisted Living, 402 23rd St, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601. It was solely because of the determination and compassion of the people at Open Gate that Ray and Wilma were able to be together until death did them part.