Raymond Edward Crilley Sr., died peacefully in his East Springfield home of 53 years on March 1, 2019 with his loving family at his side. He was 79 years old. Ray was born in Loretto, Pa.
Ray's heart belonged to Northwestern School District. He served as a teacher for 21 years, teaching agriculture and shop classes, served as the Future Farmers of America advisor and served on the school board for many years. Ray was a member of the Albion Fair board for 51 years, where he passionately served, volunteered and displayed his works. He built displays yearly, and offered his tractors and other items for the parades. Ray was so passionate about the Fair, he owns every Albion Fair button since 1963 and still has every Fair book as well.
Ray also taught classes at Penn State Behrend for many years. He graduated from Penn State with his Master's Degrees in vocational Agriculture and Business. Ray was rarely seen without his blue and white Nittany Lions cap. Many remember Ray as their insurance agent. He owned an agency in Girard, Pa. for 21 years. Ray's biggest passion was his collections. He owned one of the largest collection of scale model tractors in the world. He wrote several books, had his own newsletter from 1979-1989, and monthly contributions to the Toy Farmer, the Toy Trucker and Contractor, and the Toy Tractor Times. He's been referred to as "The Father of Toy Tractor Collecting." This hobby has made him known around the world. He traveled the country displaying his collection for all to enjoy, and he always included his children and grandchildren in his collecting. In addition to these models, Ray also collected milk bottles and milking equipment, metal signs, full-size tractors and garden tractors. Ray always said, "Don't do what others are doing just to be like them. Figure out what you want to do, then give it your all." Farming and family, for Ray, was the center of it all. On his farm in East Springfield, Ray raised many animals over the years including swans, sheep, horses, rabbits, and even fish in his ponds. He and his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren worked on myriad of projects. He taught them the value of hard work, honesty, and integrity.
Ray is preceded in death by his parents, Ferdinand and Thelma (Dibble) Crilley, two brother-in-laws, Joseph Decort, James Blatenberger, a sister-in-law, Mary Lynn, and two infant brothers, Melvin and Eugene.
He is survived by his siblings, Charlotte Decort of Ebensburg, Mary Ellen Eckenrod (David) of Loretto, James of Bridgeton, N.J., Joseph (Mary Jane) of Erie, Leonard (Barbara) of South Carolina, Sally Blattenberger of Martinsburg, and his children, Raymond E. Crilley Jr. (Maria) of Kansas City, Mo., Barry Crilley (Christina) of Kansas City, Mo., Richard Crilley of Little Elm, Texas, Mary Crilley of Cross Roads, Texas, Paul Crilley (Sherry) of Albion, Pa., Pete Crilley (Xuan) of Kansas City, Mo., Kirk Hudacky (Jenna) of Greenville, Pa. He also has 15 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, 1 great great-grandson, and many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to The Albion Fair, P.O. Box 94, Albion, PA 16401.
Calling hours will be held at the Mattera Funeral Home, 188 East State Street, Albion, on Tuesday from 1-3 p.m. and 5 p.m. until the time of a funeral service there at 7 p.m. with Fr. James Kennelley officiating.
A Funeral Mass will be held on Friday, March 8, 2019 at St. Michaels Basilica, Loretto, Pa., at 10am.
Burial will follow in St. Michaels Cemetery where Ray will be reunited with his arm and laid to rest between his father and mother. To light a memory candle or leave a condolence, please visit www.matterafuneralhome.com
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