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Ray V. WILSTON

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Ray V. WILSTON Obituary
Ray V. WILSTON

Ray Wilston was born in Seattle, Washington on December 1, 1926 to Charles and Mary Wilston. As a young man he became interested in flying and at age 16 he soloed and earned his pilot license, subsequently owning three planes during his lifetime. He graduated from West Seattle High School in 1944 and attended the University of Washington for two years. He experienced combat action in the infantry with the 1st Cavalry Division during the Korean War, rising to the rank of Sergeant 1st Class.

After his discharge, Ray expressed his creative side in several ways: first he joined a dance troupe which performed folk dances, such as Yugoslavian, Russian and Greek, and worked at Kennell Ellis Studios as a photographer. Then he began a career in commercial display in Seattle at the Bon Marche and Nordstrom. At Nordstrom he eventually became Display Director as that firm expanded throughout Washington and into Oregon. During this time he was a certified Ski Instructor for 13 years at various Washington ski resorts. In 1974 he relocated to Oregon to implement display functions for two new stores opened by the Liberty House chain as they expanded into the Northwest.

Ray then switched careers to become a business man in 1974, buying the Half Moon Tavern and developing it into a successful operation until 1981 when a fire in the building where the Tavern was located forced its permanent closure. A year later Ray bought a restaurant he renamed "Ray's Ordinary Bar and Grille" which became a very successful and popular establishment for many years. In 1998 he sold it and retired.

Good bye old friend,

you will be missed.
Published in The Seattle Times on July 10, 2013
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