Raymond Ragnar Norling
Raymond Ragnar Norling, born near the end of the roaring twenties, spent a happy childhood during the depression in Longview, Washington. He delighted his children later with his many growing-up adventures, tales of hunting, fishing, and getting in to scrapes. Antics of harmless pranks and lazy afternoons spent at the swimming-hole came alive when Ray told stories of his boyhood. He was an equally good storyteller relating his time serving in the Navy, where he baked pies, fried burgers and served in the mess. For example, there was the funny story about the time he nearly fell off a 40-foot ladder in his attempt to quickly get some grub to some hungry buddies.
A kind-hearted, happy person, Ray was the ultimate Daddy, always ready to change diapers and later teach his little girls how to balance on a two-wheeled bike. This Dad invented the best hide-and-seek places, was always willing to ride the roller coaster and was the guy you went to as a teen, when Mom said "No" and you needed an adult to say "Yes". Slow to anger and nearly always patient, this was a Dad kids truly listened to on the few occasions he was forced to discipline.
Ray was a lover of music, and knew the lyrics to hundreds of songs, which he belted out joyfully at all hours of the day. The family has fond memories of Ray, an early riser on Saturday mornings, cooking up pancakes and sausage, then singing loudly to hasten sleepy-heads to the breakfast table.
But breakfast wasn't Ray's only gourmet effort -- a man with a pan, you could always find him concocting something interesting in the kitchen. He could work magic with ugly leftovers, or any ingredients found in the fridge, and never needed a recipe book to produce tasty results.
Ray was a person you could talk to, who would listen to your problems and be there for you when needed. Ray believed in God but didn't force religion on anyone.
Proud of his Swedish heritage, Ray's two parents, both born in Sweden taught him to love both the old country and the new. He believed that the American citizenship he was born into was always a special gift that should never be taken for granted. But one of the highlights of his life was visiting Sweden to dine and socialize with the 31 cousins in his family there. It made him feel like both a patriot and a citizen of the world.
Ray also fought and won a personal battle with alcoholism, and was successfully clean and sober for more than the last thirty years of his life.
It will not be a cliche to say he was missed, because Ray was liked by everyone he touched.
A Celebration of Life for Ray will be held on Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 2 p.m. at The Retreat, 3240 Kennerleigh Pkwy., Roseville, CA 95747. We invite friends to share love and memories on Ray's guestbook at www.cochranewagemann.com.
Cochrane & Wagemann
103 Lincoln St. Roseville, CA 95835
Published in Gold Country Media Newspapers on Oct. 25, 2013