June 27, 1938 - February 23, 2022
Clare Ray Sr…83, passed away on February 23, 2022. Clare was surrounded by his loving family as he was the 4th generation who resided on the family homestead as he entered the arms of the Lord. Clare was born on June 27, 1938, at Munson Hospital in Traverse City, to Lowell and LaDore (Whiteford) Ray. As a young man Clare enjoyed farming, hunting, fishing, mushrooming, and blueberry picking throughout the Williamsburg area. Clare met his lifelong partner of 65 plus years, Elaine Peacock, at Traverse City Central High School where they graduated in 1957. They quickly fell in love and were married on October 20, 1956, in Traverse City, at the Pine Grove Church of God. They welcomed 3 children into their lives over the next few years. Clare is survived his wife, Elaine and his 3 children and their families; son, Clare Ray Jr (Susan Hemmes); granddaughter Samantha Kaiser (Paul) great grandson Braylen Kaiser grandson Brendon Ray (Jessica Meloche) great grandsons Aiden Ray and Colton Ray; son, Mark Ray (Gina Alpers), granddaughter Bailey (fiancé John Kure), Grandsons Brady Ray and Broderick Ray; daughter Pam Mervau (Wayne “Merv”), Grandson Adam (Whitney Ayers) Mervau, Great grandson Fisher and Grandson Matthew Mervau; and Brother Lynn “Tiny” (Rosemary). Clare began his professional career with Stromberg-Carlson Products in Traverse City in 1956 where he worked until 1982. In 1984 he co-founded CRM, Inc. in Traverse City with his son Mark. He and Mark built the business from the ground up. This company is one of the largest powder coating painting businesses in northern Michigan. He retired in 2007 and has left the business to be passed on to the next generations. All the while Clare was working, he always made time to attend his children and grandchildren’s many school activities. He taught all of them how to play cribbage and euchre and enjoyed a good game of cards. He was especially proud to teach his children how make maple syrup in the spring, grow a bountiful garden in the summer, and enjoyed pressing apple cider in the fall, all the while sharing his harvest with others. His favorite thing was family dinners that Elaine cooked for everyone who was at the table. He never tasted a pie, donut, a loaf of homemade bread or any other goodie that Elaine baked from scratch that he didn’t love. Clare wasn’t only large in stature; he was large at heart. His love and for his family, friends, community and the outdoors will be a legacy that the next generations will continue. He was a 60-year member of the Masonic Fraternity and a Past Master of the East Bay Lodge #264 and also a member of Elk Rapids Lodge #275. Clare and Elaine were members at the Williamsburg Methodist Church. He served as a member of the Acme Volunteer Fire Department in the 1960’s. His love for history was evident as he served on the Samel’s Farm Heritage Society and the Yuba School Historical Society boards that are both instrumental in restoring and preserving local history. Clare was also a founding board member of Between the Fence; an organization created to restore Thirlby Field where he spent many Friday nights playing and watching football. He and his brother Lynn “Tiny” Ray were the last Kings for the National Cherry Festival Mummers Parade held in 1966. Clare and Elaine enjoyed many fishing and camping trips with family and friends to Canada. They traveled by RV from Alaska to Newfoundland, cruised the Inside Passage, sailed the Caribbean, snowmobiled in Yellowstone and enjoyed many other adventures or “snipe hunts” as Clare liked to call them. There are several charter boat captains that thank Clare for teaching them where and how to fish East Bay, as he knew it like the back of his hand. He enjoyed sharing his fishing/hunting hobbies with sons and grandsons. It didn’t matter if the cooler was full of fish or just a few, if a deer was bagged or how many ducks were shot, it was about spending time and forging the strength of family values and his love and knowledge for the outdoors. It often was his time to teach life lessons and connect with his Creator. Clare will be greatly missed by family, cousins, and many friends and his life will be celebrated at the funeral on Tuesday, March 1, 2022 at 11:00 am with visitation beginning at 10 am at Reynolds Jonkhoff Funeral Home. A luncheon will follow at the Elks Club. Visitation will also be held the night prior, on Monday, February 28, 2022 from 4 to 6 pm also at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Hospice of Michigan who employ incredibly compassionate caregivers… Thank you for all you do.
Clare Ray Sr…83, passed away on February 23, 2022. Clare was surrounded by his loving family as he was the 4th generation who resided on the family homestead as he entered the arms of the Lord. Clare was born on June 27, 1938, at Munson... View Obituary & Service Information
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Clare Ray Sr…83, passed away on February 23, 2022. Clare was...View More
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