RAYMOND (RAY) EUGENE WEAVER
Raymond (Ray) Eugene Weaver passed away at the age of 92 years and two months on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013, in long term care at Republic County Hospital. He was born on Dec. 24, 1920, to Albert F. Weaver and Bessie (Kuhn) Weaver in Belleville, Kan. The family lived a full life in Belleville.
Ray attended Belleville public schools and graduated from high school in 1938. He played football all through school. It was his favorite sport and he received several honors. Mind you, back then the helmets were made of heavy leather. No pads. Ray was the only carrier for the Kansas City Star newspaper in Belleville. He rode 13 miles on his bicycle to deliver it before school started each day. After graduation he worked at the Skelly Filling Station owned by George Rightmeir. He pumped gas, washed windows, fixed flats, changed oil, etc. in a full service filling station.
He also worked at the Blair Theater. You might say he ran the whole place. He changed the marquee, prepared the film in the projector then ran downstairs and opened the curtains. He ran back upstairs to start the projector. He sat through the movie to make sure the film was running all right while Mrs. Griffin played the piano during the silent movie.
Later he joined his father at Weaver Rendering Company. He drove a power wagon truck with a big winch to pick up dead animals for the farmers. He started the boiler every morning at 5:30 a.m. so they could make tankage.
He was drafted into the Army in 1942. During World War II he was sent to the European Theater and came ashore in Normandy serving as a supply sergeant. He talked about many close calls picking up and delivering supplies to the troops. He was also at the Belgian Bulge with the 95th Infantry Division under General George Patton. He was honorably discharged with the rank of staff sergeant.
After his return from service you could not buy supplies for building a house. So, Ray and Sylvia decided to purchase a house in the country and move it to town. They had to tear down most of it and then rebuilt their home in Belleville.
After the war Ray joined his father again at Weaver Rendering Company. It was sold in 1962 and Ray remained on as the plant manager until 1967.
In 1967 he joined Purina Feeds as a salesman where he enjoyed working with the farmers and making new friends. After some time at the age of 55 he was offered a job with Stone Construction because of his knowledge of machinery. He started on a scraper, helped move equipment to new job locations, hauled gasoline to the sites and operated a motor grader. He loved working with the farmers as a heavy machine operator finishing terraces, ponds, waterways and leveling land. This fulfillment made every day enjoyable for him. His goal was to please each and every farmer.
He retired for a while in 1983 when failing health required him to quit; much to his disgust. After traveling, having some fun and getting in Sylvia's hair just enough, he decided to return to Stone Construction to perform various jobs such as welding, machine maintenance and minor grader work. He ultimately retired in 2004 at the young age of 84.
He was known for his generosity. Ray became the father figure and role model for his wife's small sisters and brother upon the untimely death of their father. The girls and Johnny always looked forward to walking with Ray, their fishing poles in hand, going down the railroad tracks to Grandma Nemec's pond. What a grand time they had!
Ray always loved to go see his grandchildren and great-grandchildren participate in school, church and community activities. He also cheered them on when they played various sports and activities. He gave the best hugs and always said "I love you." It wasn't uncommon for him to hold your hand awhile, just because . . . .
He had several passions which were gardening, cooking, woodworking, memory work and teaching memory work in the Masonic Lodge and Eastern Star. He was an avid bowler with many trophies. He was awarded the Kolache King of the NCK Czech Club in 2005 at the NCK Free Fair. He taught several family members how to make the perfect kolache with all of his secrets. He received blue ribbons for projects and Best of Fair at the NCK Free Fair in 2010 for his built-to-scale wooden caterpillar.
It would be difficult to count the number of hamburgers he flipped at the Methodist Church Food Stand at the NCK Fair or the gallons of chili he helped make for the Masonic Lodge Soup Suppers. Ray, Ray Clark (son-in-law) with the assistance of Karl Fry served a freewill offering breakfast—eggs, ham, pancakes and all the trimmings—at the Masonic Lodge every Saturday morning for about 22 years providing good fellowship.
Ray was a member of the First United Methodist Church, Life Member of the Belleville Masonic Lodge AF&AM #129, York Rite, Scottish Rite and Isis Shrine, Salina, a member of the North Central Kansas Shrine Club, Order of the Eastern Star-Ophel Chapter #115, Belleville, 69ers Card Club, Rainbow Grand Cross of Color, Rainbow Dad, American Legion VFW and North Central Kansas Czech Club.
On April 18, 1942, he married Sylvia A. Horak of Munden. They celebrated 70 years of marriage in 2012. To this union two children were born: Karen S. Weaver Clark, Belleville, and Charles (Chuck) A. Weaver, Abilene. He was greatly loved and will be sorely missed by all. He believed in God, hard work and loved spending time with his family and friends. On behalf of our family we sincerely appreciate the many expressions of kindness in thought and deed. As we celebrate his life, so too, do we celebrate all that he held dear.
He is survived by his wife Sylvia at LTC Republic County Hospital; children: Karen S. (Ray) Weaver Clark, Belleville, Kan.; Charles A. (Marsha) Weaver, Abilene, Kan.; grandchildren: Nicole L. (Steven) Clark Palmquist, Concordia, Kan.; Kelly (Chris) Lair, Arlington, Texas; Aaron (Rachel) Weaver, Atchison, Kan.; Amber Weaver, Manhattan, Kan.; great-grandchildren: Jacob and Kyle Palmquist, Amanda Lair, Connor, Noah and Mason Weaver; and many relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Bert and Bessie Weaver, grandson Brentley T. Clark, sister and brother-in-law, Betty and Max Krummel, all of Belleville, Kan.
Funeral services will be held at 2:30 p.m., Saturday, March 16, 2013, First United Methodist Church, 2013 Main Street, Belleville, Kan., conducted by Pastor Emily Meckley and Mr. Henry Strnad.
Interment will be at Belleville Cemetery, Belleville, Kan. Order of the Eastern Star Services by Ophel Chapter #115, Belleville; Masonic Services by Belleville Masonic Lodge AF and AM #129; Military Honor Guard from Fort Riley, Kan.
Memorial contributions may be made to the First United Methodist Church or the Isis Hospital Travel Fund, Salina, Kan.
Online condolences and information @www.bachelor-surber.com. Bachelor Surber Funeral Home, 1322 19th Street, Belleville, Kan. is in charge of arrangements.