Dr. Rayburn Dayton Mehlhaff graduated from UC Berkley Optometrist School in 1941 and commenced his Optometry practice in Lodi, Ca. the same year.
He built a home in Lodi, California. Later he built an office complex at 404 W. Pine Street and moved his practice to that location.
Dr. Mehlhaff sold his optometry practice in 1961 and commenced ranching in Lockeford California. He farmed 80 acres of cling peaches.
He enjoyed building machinery for the ranch even more than the ranching. Among his accomplishments, he built a scale capable of weighing the loads of peaches, and a bin carrier capable of transporting six 1,000 pound bins of peaches. He designed and engineered an irrigation system using 3 Chevy engines as the driving power. The sprinkler system watered the orchard and, during frost threat, kept the trees wet until the frost danger receded. While the trees were wet or covered with ice, the frost did not damage the trees.
He frequently took his children camping, water-skiing, and snow-skiing.
His wife Isabelle Tubbs Mehlhaff died in 1980. He sold the ranch and moved to Stockton, California. Thereafter, he pursued various business endeavors, including operation of a Laundromat, a vending machine business with his son, development of an upscale residential development in Lockeford, CA, and the real estate profession.
Dr. Mehlhaff married Doris Powell Mehlhaff in 1993. He worked with her in the real estate/property management business until he totally retired in approximately 2009.
He golfed extensively. He was known as "Down the Middle" Ray. He won the senior golfing tournament one year at the Woodbridge Golf and Country Club.
He was a Rotary Club
member, SIRS member, charter member of the Temple Baptist Church in Lodi, and a member of the Woodbridge Golf & Country Club.
God blessed Ray with a happy and productive life.
Ray was preceded in death by his parents, Dr. John Mehlhaff, D.D.S. and Salome (Schultz) Mehlhaff, brother, Dr. Milo Mehlhaff, D.D.S., first wife, Isabel (Tubbs) Mehlhaff, and son, Ronald Mehlhaff. He is survived by his living wife, Doris (Powell) Mehlhaff, daughter & son-in-law, Carole and Audias Hernandez, daughter-in-law, Janice (Snell) Mehlhaff, stepchildren, Steven and Michael Powell, grandchildren; Isaac Hill, Crystal & Michael Powell, sister-in-law, Ruth Mehlhaff and numerous nieces and nephews.
Viewing will be held from 12-1pm with Funeral Services beginning at 1pm Wednesday, March 27, 2013 in the Evergreen Chapel at Cherokee Memorial Park, Hwy 99 & Harney Ln., Lodi. In lieu of flowers, donations appreciated: Lodi Salvation Army 525 W. Lockeford St. Lodi, CA 95240. Cherokee Memorial Funeral Home is honored to serve the Mehlhaff Family. Please sign the online guestbook at www.cherokeememorial.com.