Major Raymond R. Bickel, III
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October 30, 1939 ~ March 25, 2013
SEASIDE, CA – Major Raymond R. Bickel, III, (USMC?Retired), 73, was born October 30, 1939 in Kimmell, Indiana and passed away March 25, 2013 in Phoenix, AZ. Ray joined the Marine Corps in 1956 at age17, serving 26 years of active duty and retiring as a Major in 1982. He served multiple tours in Okinawa, Japan and the Republic of South Vietnam. Before the Vietnam War officially started he was a cryptologist assigned to the Army of the Republic of Vietnam. Later in the Vietnam War he was assigned to the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion as the Communications Officer and as the Adjutant in the 1st Battalion 4th Marines, 3rd Marine Division. He worked his way up the ranks from Private to Sergeant and was selected as a Warrant Officer and later as a Limited Duty Officer. He was proud to say he had been promoted to Captain twice in the Marine Corps. He did tours at Marine Barracks, Treasure Island, CA, Camp Pendleton, CA and his last tour was as the Director of the Marine Corps Personnel Administration School at Camp Pendleton. His decorations include two purple hearts, three Meritorious Service Medals, three Navy Commendation Medals (one with the combat V device), four Marine Corps Good Conduct Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, and numerous other unit citations, campaign and service medals. Ray also earned two Masters Degrees while in the Marine Corps.
Ray was a member of the Moose Lodge in Fallbrook, CA and Del Rey Oaks for 20 years, serving in officer roles including Treasurer and Administrator. He was a Third Degree Mason with the Masonic Lodge 331, Pacific Grove. He was also the Commander of the VFW in Fallbrook and was very active in Boy Scouts of America, receiving the Silver Beaver Award. He worked for the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District as Director of Facilities, retiring in 2001. He also enjoyed mountain climbing, fishing and travel.
Ray is survived by six children, numerous grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Fifteen years ago Ray met Joan, the love of his life, and they were inseparable until his death. His granddaughter, Kati, followed him into the Marine Corps. and is now a sergeant assigned in Afghanistan.
A memorial service will be held at 2:00pm, Saturday, May 11, 2012 at the Pacific Grove Masonic Lodge, Central and Congress (across the street from the Pacific Grove Post Office). Refreshments will be served. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made
to the Boy Scouts of America or The SPCA
for Monterey County.
Published in The Monterey Herald on May 7, 2013