Our beloved dad, Ray White, went peacefully to be with his wife, Shirley, and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on March 28, 2010.
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Ray was born June 3, 1928, at Bozeman Deaconess Hospital to Delmar "Bud" and Ann White. He attended Irving Elementary School and graduated from Gallatin High School in 1946. During high school he worked for his dad delivering gas for the Litening Gas Company and also worked part-time for Stanley Lemon at State Auto.
Ray was a contract hauler for the Bozeman Pea Cannery (1947-48) and then worked for the National Guard 210th Combat Engineer Battalion from 1948-49.
Ray met his lifelong partner, Shirley McKenzie in 1947, and on Aug. 3, 1950, they were married at First Presbyterian Church in Bozeman.
During the first years of their marriage, Ray helped his dad on the ranch and worked for both the Kessler and Darigold creameries from 1954-58. They built a house on the ranch in 1957 and a milking barn in 1958. Ray drove school bus from 1963-69, and in 1968 he sold the milk cows and went into the beef cow business which he enjoyed the rest of his life.
Ray went to work in the Gallatin County assessor's office in 1969. He was elected county assessor in 1973 and served in that capacity until 1984, when he was elected Gallatin County commissioner. In1990 Ray retired to his love of ranching, raising cows and Shirl's honey-do list.
Ray was a member of several organizations and served on numerous boards, including Gallatin Farm Bureau board, Sons and Daughters of Gallatin County Pioneers member and president, Pioneer Museum board, Bozeman City-County planning board, Gallatin County Planning and Zoning Commission, Gallatin County assessor, Montana Assessors Association member and president, Gallatin County commissioner, Gallatin County Refuse District Board, Gallatin County Study Commission, First Presbyterian Church, A.P.A. president, BPOE #463, 50-year life member.
Ray and Shirl were never apart over nearly 60 years of marriage, enjoying many trips together including to the coast of Oregon, the Calgary Stampede, taking the boat to the lake and traveling through Yellowstone Park in the summer by car and on snowmobiles in the winter. Ray took great pleasure in raising his cattle and putting up hay in the summer. He always found the time to spend with his family and especially the many trips to the family cabin up the Gallatin. He was an avid fisherman and hunter.
After retirement you could always find Ray working on projects in his shop at the ranch. He was very proud of his 1948 Dodge he restored with the help of his boys. He purchased the car new from Rolfe & Mest in Bozeman and took it on his first date with Shirley.
He is survived by three sons, Steve (Pam "PJ"), Kerry (Patty), and Craig (Gretchen); grandchildren, Matthew (Rachel), Kimberly (Nick Poncelet), Timothy and Brian; great-grandchildren, Owen and Nora Poncelet; brother, Jack White (Rita); and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins
Memorial gifts may be made to First Presbyterian Church, 26 W. Babcock St., Bozeman, MT 59715; to the Gallatin County Pioneer Museum, 317 W. Main St., Bozeman, MT 59715; or to Rocky Mountain Hospice, 301 Edelweiss Drive Suites 5&6, Bozeman, MT 59718.
Private family interment at Sunset Hills Cemetery will be Friday morning, followed by a public memorial service at 11 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Bozeman.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service; www.dokkennelson.com.
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle from Mar. 30 to Apr. 1, 2010