Ramon Frederick Ra Reno, age 86, beloved husband, father, and grandfather, passed away on August 21, 2014 in Las Cruces, NM at Casa Bella under the extra loving care of Jill Shannon and her staff and AmberCare hospice. He was born to Elmer and Jeanne Reno on May 30, 1928 in Cranford, NJ. The family moved to Chicago, IL and later to Greenbelt, MD. After graduating from high school in nearby Washington, D.C. , Ra enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1945 at the age of 17. He served again during the Korean War and during this time received a calling from God to become a clergyman. When honorbly discharged Ra attended and graduated from Aurora College in Illinois, then worked for a year to earn money for seminary. It was during this time, in 1957, that he met and married Louise Grandmaison. Ra enrolled in Wesley United Methodist Seminary and was assigned as student pastor into their first church, Faith United Mentodist Church in Accokeek, MD, where he served 4 years. He later served churches in Western Md, Baltimore and Laurel, MD, a total of 33 years. Not too long before his retirement in 1990 he became a volunteer on the World War II Liberty Ship, S.S.JOHN W. BROWN, which was docked in Baltimore. This became a project of a group of dedicated men and women to restore this ship and be able to sail it again. (During this time Ra was the "official" dishwasher.) While this goal was being accomplished Ra became the first Chaplain of the John W. Brown, where he served until 2004 and was then voted Chaplain Emeritus. During these years Ra sailed with the ship on cruises, held worship in the chapel, and, with permission, performed burials at sea. His own ashes will be buried at sea in the spring of 2015. Ra is survived by his wife, Louise (Lou), his daughters Amie Reno and Tammy Tobey & husband David Tobey, Sr., grandchildren Kim & husband John Buck, Christopher Barto and David Tobey, Jr. Also by brother- in- law, O. F. (Pat) Hancock, sister-in-law Kathleen Doscher,several beloved nieces, nephews and their offspring. A memorial service will be held at Morning Star United Methodist Church, Las Cruces, on Saturday, Aug. 23 at 3:30. In lieu of flowers donations may be sent to Project Libery Ship, www.libertyship.com. For online condolences go to http://www.lapaz-grahams.com/
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La Paz - Graham's Funeral Home - Las Cruces
555 West Amador
Las Cruces, NM 88005
Published in Las Cruces Sun-News on Aug. 23, 2014