C. R. "Ray" Pethtel
1922 - 2013
Ray Pethtel, 91, of Meridian, passed away on Tuesday, December 10, 2013 at home. Ray was born on February 3, 1922 in rural Nampa on the family homestead established in 1890, which had remained in the family for over 100 years. He was the son of Clyde and Gertrude (Smith) Pethtel. After his mother died when he was 5 years old, Ray's father remarried 2 years later to Opal Waybright.
Ray played baseball throughout his high school years and graduated in 1939 from Kuna High School. He continued playing amateur ball and was drafted by the Boise Pilots as a catcher, but was unable to play semi-pro ball as he was drafted by the Army in 1942. He was a radio operator with the 23rd HQ Special Troops in Europe. For his heroism in battle on D-Day, and at the Battle of the Bulge, he was awarded 2 Bronze Stars, a Silver Star, and the European African Middle Eastern Service Ribbon. He returned to the States in 1945 to resume farming.
Ray married Maude Jareo in 1946 and continued to farm until 1955 when they moved to Meridian where he worked at the saw mill and the Sugar Factory before being employed by Mangums Furniture as a major appliance repairman. He always said he knew every house in the area and what kind of appliance they had. Retirement came at the age of 62, but he continued to help his old customers for years to come.
For over 50 years Ray was an active member and held many positions in both the Highline Star Grange and Agrarian Club. He started bowling in 1959 and continued until his health would no longer allow it. He served many positions in the Bowling Association and was inducted into the Boise Bowling Association Hall of Fame in 1981.
During his wife's 11 year illness, Ray spent thousands of hours with the Retired Seniors Volunteer Program helping at the Life Care Center of Boise. He received many awards for both bowling and the volunteer program which now adorn his home walls.
Dad, "Pappy" to many who knew him, was a man who if you met him you had a friend forever. No matter what life gave him, he faced it with a smile and a joke.
He was preceded in death by his wife Maude, his parents, brothers, Tom and Bob, and sister, Gladys.
Ray is survived by his children, Bill (Garnie) Pethtel of Federal Way, WA, Sally Thomason of Meridian, Pat (Connie) Pethtel of Meridian; his sister, Helen (Gene) Wade of Nampa; seven grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren, and four great-great-grandchildren.
The family would like to thank St. Luke's Hospice and Home Watch Healthcare and Dr. Andrew Wilper at the Veterans Administration for all of their kindness and care.
A graveside service will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, December 14, 2013 at the Meridian Cemetery, 895 E. Franklin in Meridian. A reception will follow the graveside at the Central Assembly Christian Church on Fairview and Cloverdale, 12000 W. Fairview Ave.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Idaho State Veterans Home, 320 N. Collins Road Boise, ID.
To share memories with the family please visit Ray's memorial webpage at www.cloverdalefuneralhome.com.
Cloverdale Funeral Home
1200 North Cloverdale Road Boise, ID 83713
Published in Idaho Statesman on Dec. 13, 2013