It is with great sadness that the family of Raymond E. Stephens announces his passing on January 12, 2019 at Heritage Health Therapy and Senior Care, Streator. He will be greeted at the gates of heaven by the love of his life, Marianne
Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11:30 A.M. Friday at St. Michael the Archangel Church, Streator. Rev. Fr. Ryan Mattingly will officiate.
Visitation will be from 9-11 A.M. Friday at the Solon-Telford Funeral Home, Streator.
Burial will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Streator. Pallbearers will be his grandchildren, Michael Stephens, Matthew Stephens, Nick Olesen, Brock Armstrong, Ryan Newby and Ethan Newby. Full military honors will be accorded by members of the Leslie G. Woods American Legion Post 217 and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1492.
Born December 10, 1932 in Toledo, Illinois he was the son of Orville and Marguerite (Meaney) Stephens. He married Marianne Leonard on July 2, 1955 at St. Anthony Church, Streator. She preceded him in death on July 17, 2009.
He is lovingly remembered by his family; daughters, Shari (Jeff) Armstrong of Streator and Darcy (Dion) Newby of Bloomington; sons, James (Laurie) Stephens of Streator and Todd ( Linda) Stephens of Streator; grandchildren, Michael and Matthew (Holly) Stephens, Nick (Katie) Olesen, Brock Armstrong, Ryan and Ethan Newby, Christina (Gabe Macias) Stephens, Jacque (John) Van Fleet, Michelle Stephens, Katie (Brandon) Himan , Jamie (Paul) Modaff and Jessica Verduzco; great grandchildren, Evan, Noah and Caleb Van Fleet, Abigail Macias, Valerie and Addie Himan, Charleigh Stephens, Aubrie Verduzco, Peyton and Camden Modaff and Harper Olesen.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife; a daughter, Sheryl Stephens; and sisters, June Graham, Judy Roseboro and Marilyn Renz.
Ray served for 25 years in the United States Army with two separate stints from 1950-1953 and 1962-1983. He served in the Korean War. He was a highly decorated officer having received the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star and the Purple Heart among other various other awards and commendations throughout his military career. He achieved the rank of Sergeant Major upon his retirement.
Through the years he owned along with his wife the Montgomery Ward Catalog Store, Arco Bulk Oil Plant and World Wide Refinishing Systems. He also earned his Real Estate License. He was previously employed at Libby Owens Ford Glass Manufacturing.
He enjoyed politics and was very involved at the local level through the years.
He was an active member of St. Anthony Church and served in several different capacities at the church and the school as a volunteer. He was one of the first ever Eucharistic Ministers at the church. He was a 3rd Degree member Msgr. George A. Dzuryo Knights of Columbus Council #790 and a 4th Degree member of the Streator Assembly 2109 of the Knights of Columbus. He was also a member of the Leslie G. Woods American Legion Post 217, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1492, Disabled American Veterans, Korean War Association, 5th Calvary Association and 1st Cavalry Association.
Ray loved to watch westerns and military shows. He dearly loved his dog, Mollie. He enjoyed woodworking, reading, working with stained glass and his backyard pond. He was always willing to help anyone out, especially his family when needed. He always had a smile on his face.
Memorials may be directed to the Disabled American Veterans (www.dav.org) or the charity of the donor’s choice.
Condolences may be left for the family at www.solontelford.com
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