Raymond 'Ray' Ellis
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Billings —Raymond "Ray" C. Ellis, 62 years of age originally from Richmond, California, and the last 25 years of Billings, passed away March 24, 2014 at St. Vincent's Healthcare. Ray worked as a respiratory therapist for 32 years after receiving his education in Fresno, California. A dedicated and talented individual he perfected himself in the newborn intensive care unit and as a member of the Help flight crew. He met the love of his life, Bernadette (Kostelnik), in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1984. They worked together and quickly realized they were kindred spirits. Ray had innumerable friends who shared his love of the outdoors, golf, motorcycles and music. Ray was quick to take the impromptu road trip or camping trip with his friends and family. His golf game was a presence of mind, always a laughing spirit that made the game a fun adventure. His buddies remember well the camaraderie.
In 1987, Ray married Bernadette and the real adventure began. Two beautiful girls became the main focus with his Bernadette. Bernadette (Kostelnik) Ellis introduced him to the small town of Fort Benton and this "big city boy" expressed his awe at the small town way of life and genuine people.
Preceding him in death are Ray's parents, Raymond and Margaret Ellis. Left behind are his wife of 26 years, Bernadette; his daughters MaryAnne, 21 years: Billings, MT and Claire, 20 years: Corvallis, OR. His sister Ellie Miller (Darrell Miller): Tannyville, MO and many Kostelnik siblings, Mother-in-law as well as nieces and nephews.
The funeral will be Friday the 28th at 11am at St. Bernard's Parish in Billings. A vigil and rosary will be Thursday night at 7pm also at St. Bernard's, with visitation starting at 5pm. All are welcome to attend.
Published in Great Falls Tribune on Mar. 27, 2014