Ray Speer passing

A lot of personal information but I didn’t feel qualified to edit it.

Raymond G. Speer The Lewiston Tribune:

February 20, 2016

Raymond G. Speer passed away Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016, at Royal Plaza Heath and Rehabilitation Center, three weeks shy of his 90th birthday.

Ray was born March 12, 1926, in Cedar Falls, Iowa, to Vernon D. and Ruth Nelson Speer. He attended grade and junior high schools in Cedar Falls, and the family moved to Lincoln, Neb., in 1941. Ray graduated from Lincoln High School in 1944 and immediately enlisted in the U.S. Navy, spending 20 months training to be a Navy pilot. In 1946, he enrolled at the University of Nebraska and later completed his education at Washington State College, receiving a bachelor of science degree in business administration with a major in hotel administration. He was a member of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity.

After graduation in 1948, he located in Seattle and was employed in the hotel and restaurant field for three years. In 1949, Ray married Jean Christenson in Seattle. They divorced in 1971. He moved to Lewiston in 1951 and entered the family business, Speer Inc., an ammunition reloading component manufacturer. He remained with the company for 24 years, and was president and general manager when it was sold to Omark Industries.

In 1975, he married Barbara Church Titus of Lewiston. Ray was devoted to Barbara and all their children and they spent many good times together. On Ray’s 80th birthday, they all assembled in Lewiston to celebrate the occasion. Many memorable times with family were spent at Ray and Barbara’s Coeur d’Alene lakefront house, where they enjoyed boating, sailing and fishing. Ray and family also frequently vacationed at the Speer family’s rustic cabin in the pines at Wallowa Lake, Ore.

Ray led an active business, civic and travel life. The Speer firm was a charter member of the Idaho Employer’s Council, of which Ray was an early president. Also, he was a charter member and president of the National Reloading Manufacturer’s Association as well as the National Shooting Sports Foundation and a life member of the National Rifle Association. He was a member and past chairman of the St. Joseph Regional Medical Center board and served on the board of the St. Joseph Regional Medical Center Foundation. Ray was elected to the Lewiston City Council in 1976 and served as chairman of the airport commission from 1982 to 1987. He was an active member of the Lewiston Chamber of Commerce, was a past president and received a chamber of commerce “Hall of Fame” award in 1993. He served on the board of directors of the North Idaho Children’s Home from 1981 to 1983. He was a member of the Lewiston Rotary Club from 1982 to 1998. Ray was a member of the Lewiston First United Methodist Church for more than 50 years, sang in its choir, served on several church councils and was chairman of the trustees.

Ray has traveled extensively for both business and pleasure. As an instrument-rated pilot, he logged more than 2,000 hours contacting customers throughout the United States, Canada and Alaska. He made several trips to Europe, negotiating agreements with foreign manufacturers for ammunition products sold by Speer in the U.S. Big game hunting was important to the ammunition business, and Ray participated in hunts for elk, deer, bear, moose, javelina and antelope throughout North America. He took a stone sheep, in the Cassiar Mountains of northern British Columbia, which remains a Boone and Crockett listing. His more strenuous activities were necessarily curtailed after he underwent coronary artery bypass surgeries in 1971 and 1985. His hobbies and activities included photography, video recording, music (vocal and organ), handyman projects, gardening, traveling and sightseeing. He played frequent organ programs of traditional and contemporary music at several retirement complexes in the Lewiston area.

Survivors include a son, Paul and wife Janice of Memphis, Tenn., son Neal and wife Lori of Kirkland, Wash., and daughter Lorraine and husband Doug, also of Kirkland; two stepdaughters, Cristina and husband Robert Vale of Woodside, Calif., and Molly and late husband Gunnar Jensen of Weippe; sisters-in-law Patricia and husband Bob Rugg and Marcella and husband Mel Olsen; grandchildren Amanda, Carolyn, Lisa, Tessa, Jonathan, Trayton, Shayna and Harrison; great-grandchildren Emma and Isabella; plus several nieces and nephews.

Ray was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Barbara; son Gary; sisters Edna and Virginia; brother-in-law Forrest Luthy; and grandson Shelby.

At his request, cremation has taken place and no services will be held. Vassar-Rawls Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. The family requests memorials be sent to the First United Methodist Church, the American Heart Association or the Muscular Dystrophy Association.