Ray Riesland was born on Aug. 8, 1934, in Calpella, California, to James and Angie Riesland. He passed away April 6, 2015, in Yuma, Arizona, due to complications from a fall, with his son David by his side.
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Ray was the fifth of six children and he graduated from Hemet High School (Hemet, California) in 1952. He worked various jobs before going to work for Wilber E. Ast Hay Company in Hemet. He drove truck and also did mechanic work in their shop. In 1959, he married Joyce Hoffman, and together, they raised three sons.
In 1969, the family moved to Salmon, Idaho, where Ray continued to work for the Wilber E. Ast Hay Company in their business in Salmon. Eventually, he started hauling gas. The family moved again, this time to Belgrade, Montana, in 1975. He built a house and shop on Cameron Bridge Road and lived there until 2012.
In 1978, Ray bought his first truck and leased it to Idaho Asphalt Supply. He drove truck for them until his retirement in 1999. Ray was considered a top hand and was very well liked and respected. He received an award for one million accident free miles from Idaho Asphalt in 1991. He was known by many as Papa Ray.
Ray was a fan of drag racing and attended numerous races throughout the years. He passed this love down to his three sons and two grandsons. It was at the N.H.R.A. drag races in Charlotte, North Carolina, that he sustained his fall. His sons, Dave and Barry, along with his grandsons Preston and Cameron, were all on this special trip together. The memories are made even more precious now that Ray is gone.
Ray was a good family man who treated others with honesty and respect and he had a quick wit about him. He was a firm believer in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, and he attended Dry Creek Bible Church in Belgrade. When he headed south for the winter, he attended either Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California, or Mohawk Valley Community Church in Roll, Arizona.
Ray is survived by his sons; Dave (Mary) Riesland of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, and Barry (Kay) Riesland; grandsons Preston and Cameron Riesland; and granddaughter Amanda Riesland, all of Belgrade, Montana; sister Esther Morrow of El Cajon, California, and brother Doug (Judy) Riesland of Running Springs, California. He is preceded in death by his parents; James F. and Angie L. Riesland; brothers James, Gayle, and Ben; son Brian Riesland; and daughter-in-law Angie Adams-Riesland.
A memorial service will be held on June 1 at 11 a.m. at Dry Creek Bible Church in Belgrade.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Rays name to dry Creek Bible Church, 8465 Dry Creek Rd, Belgrade, MT 59714.
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle from Apr. 14 to Apr. 19, 2015