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Raymond King Sheldon died suddenly the evening of Oct. 28, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. at his home at La Joya of the La Posada Retirement Community in Green Valley. He was 92 years old.

Raymond Sheldon was born Oct. 11, 1921, on his family's homestead in Baldwin, N.D. He moved to Arizona in 1958 and has lived in Green Valley since 1973. Ray met his wife, Harriett Sheldon, in Burlington, Iowa in 1941. He attended the Hartman Flying School at Burlington, Iowa, and, upon his graduation, enlisted in the Army Glider Corps where he trained as a glider pilot. Harriett and Ray married April 2, 1943, at the Winfield Methodist Church in Little Rock, Ark., where Ray was training. Ray later entered the Aviation Cadet Program and graduated as a Lieutenant/Pilot of B-24 bombers. He flew 51 missions with the 345th Squadron, 98th Bomb Group, 47th Wing, the 15th Air Force, where he was promoted to Captain and became a Lead Pilot. Raymond was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his service to his country; his bomb group received several Presidential citations.

After discharge in 1945, following illness related to combat fatigue, Mr. Sheldon entered the U.S. Postal Service at Burlington, Iowa. He attended the Burlington School of Business and worked for the Postal Inspection Service. Ray transferred to the Tucson Postal Office for family health reasons and attended college at the University of Arizona. Ray and Harriett were active members of Christ Church United Methodist in Tucson. At the Tucson Post Office, Ray worked as a Civil Service Examiner, a Personnel Officer, and was promoted to Director, Office of Personnel. He was later promoted to Manager of Employee Relations for the 5-state Rocky Mountain Region in Denver, which included 1,800 post offices and 20,000 employees. When the newly formed Postal Service moved to San Francisco in 1971, Ray took early retirement. He attended the University of Colorado and obtained a Real Estate License for Colorado,

Mr. and Mrs. Sheldon moved to Green Valley, Ariz. in 1973. Ray worked in real estate sales for the Fairfield Company for 2 years. He then obtained his brokers license from the Hogan School of Real Estate. Ray and Harriett bought a real estate franchise and opened Century 21 Sheldon Real Estate in 1975. Ray was the broker and Harriett the manager, with up to 25 sales people in their employment. In 1991 they merged with Dick Smith Realty. Later, Dick and Debbie Smith bought the franchise from the Sheldons.

Ray and Harriett Sheldon have been members of the United Methodist Community Church of Green Valley since 1973, where they have both held numerous chairperson positions. Ray was instrumental in forming the Methodist Men's Club at the Church. He was Lay Leader under Rev. Rector Johnson, the first pastor of the Community Church of Green Valley. Ray was formerly a charter member of Santa Rita Kiwanis, a charter member of Green Valley B.P.O. Elks, and a charter member of the Rotary Club of Green Valley. He was a Master Mason in Green Valley Lodge #71, F & AM and a member of K.W. Seals High Twelve Club #537. Ray and Harriett were members of the Green Valley Country Club. Ray was a life member of the American Legion, Post 66. He was also a life member of the National Association of Retired Employees of Green Valley, which he helped to organize.

Raymond is survived by his loving wife, Harriett, of 70 years, and his two daughters, Pamela Crowder of Batesville, Miss., with her children, Jonathan Van Sice, Janette McLaughlin, Darius Crowder, Danae Crowder, and Denique Crowder; and Susan Sheldon of Chandler, AZ, with her children Aaron Stichter of Chandler, AZ and Stefanie Duncan of Sahuarita, AZ. Ray and Harriett's son, Paul Sheldon, of Tucson, AZ, is deceased as of Aug. 1 2012, and is survived by his two children Nick and Jayme Sheldon, also of Tucson.

A memorial service to celebrate the life of Raymond King Sheldon will be held on Monday, Nov. 4, at La Joya of the La Posada Retirement Community, in the Celebration Room, at 2 p.m.

Published in Green Valley News & Sun on Nov. 3, 2013
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