Raymond Smoot "Ray" Rowley
December 4, 1932 to December 18, 2018
Ray Rowley, 86, of North Bend, Washington, died early morning Dec 18, 2018. Ray had suffered from heart and lung issues for some time, then had hip surgery in early November of this year from which he never fully recovered.
Ray was the second of seven children born to Smoot and Blanch Rowley. He was raised on the family farm at Bynum, Montana and graduated from Choteau High School.
Ray served in the US Army for 20 years, retiring as a MSGT (E-8) in 1976. He first was a Military Policeman (MP) from 1951 to 1954 and served in Korea at the end of the Korean Conflict. In 1959 he re-enlisted in the helicopter maintenance program with service at Fort Eustis, Virginia, four years in Germany, six years in Viet Nam, then stateside at Fort Eustis and Fort Lewis, Washington. He had a distinguished career with commendations to include Service Medals for Korea and Vietnam, Army Commendation medals, Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Medal, and the Bronze Star.
After his discharge, he remained in the Seattle area and met a very beautiful lady at a church dance. Ray and Inez Atzbach were married in June 1977. Of this union Ray said "An Angel came into my life disguised as a woman with four children." They moved to Choteau in 1980 with three of Inez's children. While in Choteau Ray worked as the custodial services manager for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Inez died of complications from cancer in 2006 and Ray returned to the Seattle area.
Ray is survived by a son, Rowley Tang of Chicago, IL; stepchildren Jay Atzbach of Normandy Park, WA; Kari Taylor of Honolulu, HI; John Atzbach of Issaquah, WA; and Lisa Wolf of North Bend, WA; and by his siblings Joan (Nordhagen) Brammer of Lindon, UT; Leo Rowley of Fayetteville, NC; Doris Easley of West Jordan, UT; Delores Nelson of Springville, UT; and Dell Rowley of Incline Village, NV. Florence Bilbro, the eldest sibling, died in 2016 in Boise, ID.
Funeral Services will be held January 19, 2019 at 11am at the Choteau Church of Jeasus Christ of Latter-Day Saints with a viewing held prior to services at 10am. After services at the Church Ray will be interred in the Veteran's Section of the Choteau cemetery.
Condolences may be left on-line at www.gorderjensenfuneralhome.com