Ray E. Gitchell
March 16, 2016 - June 12, 2016
Visitation will take place on Friday June 17th from 10:30 AM - 1:00 PM at Buresh Funeral Homes Hale Chapel.
Buresh Funeral Homes - Hale
Services will be on Friday June 17th at 1PM at Buresh Funeral Homes Hale Chapel.
Our beloved father, grandfather, great (and great-great!) grandfather Ray E. Gitchell passed away Sunday, June 12, 2016 at the VA Hospital in Saginaw, with his family by his side. He was 95.
Ray was born March 16, 1921, to the late John and Phoebe (Mohan) Gitchell, in Maltby, Michigan, and was the 2nd youngest of eight children.
From 1943 to 1945, Ray proudly served his country in the United States Army Corps of Engineers, seeing active duty in World War II.
In 1947 he married his high-school sweetheart, and love of his life, Edna Greve. They shared over 61 wonderful years together before her passing in 2009, and raised five children.
Surviving children are: Dr. Rocky Raymon (Debbie) Reid, Richard (Cherrie) Reid, Jon (Madonna) Gitchell, and Sue (Dan) Jaksa. He was pre-deceased by daughter Kandace (Clinton) Reinecke.
To support his family, Ray made his living for over 30 years as a liquid transport driver for Michigan Transport. During those years, the family resided in Bay City.
Upon retirement, he and Edna moved to Hale. As a result of his military experience, he was a very dedicated and patriotic member of the American Legion and the VFW. He volunteered selflessly for many, many years, providing services for Meals on Wheels, mowing the ball-fields and lawns at the American Legion…always doing any job asked of him. He was always someone to be counted on to help others, and he did it quietly, with no fanfare. He sought to serve and did not want public recognition for doing so.
Ray was also a 32nd degree Mason for 60+ years. He was extraordinarily proud that his son Jon and grandson Damian (his “best buddy”) followed in his footsteps and are also Masons.
In the springtime, you could find Ray out in the woods hunting the elusive morel, or next to his maple syrup boiler. His family will be enjoying those fruits of his labor for many years to come, as he canned and saved them to share with his loved ones.
He was also passionate about tending to and feeding his birds. No visit to his house was complete without sitting at the dining room table, sharing a coffee, watching his feeders and learning about his feathered friends.
In addition to his four surviving children, left to cherish his memory are 14 grandchildren: Rob, Rick, Shayna, Shira, Becke, Robert, Patrick, Lynn, Jamie, Kara, Tracy, Damian, Kelly, and Laura; 21 great-grandchildren, and 3 and ¾ great-great grandchildren. He has one surviving sibling; Olive Webb of TN, and also leaves behind a special neice/”sister” Leberta.
Visitation will take place at Buresh Funeral Home in Hale on Friday, June 17, 2016, from 10:30 am until the time of service at 1 pm. Pastor Rob Nordin presiding. Burial immediately following in Evergreen Cemetery.
The family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the VA Hospital, Pallative Care Unit, for the loving care, respect, and kindness shown to Ray, as well as the entire family, during this difficult time.