Ray Junior Riley, age 76, entered into rest after a courageous fight with Cancer on September 28, 2022, at Liberty Hospital, Liberty, Missouri. He was born, June 23, 1946 in Oskaloosa, Iowa, to William Ray and Rosemary Yeoman Riley.
Ray enlisted in the Air Force in the fall of 1964. He served our nation as a Sergeant in the United States Air Force and spent 13 months in Asia during the Vietnam War. He was honorably discharged in 1970.
Ray was a 1964 graduate of Ottumwa High School, and attended college at Northeast Missouri State University at Kirksville, Missouri. There he received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in industrial education.
Ray retired in 1998 after teaching industrial technology for 26 years at Liberty Junior High, Liberty, Missouri. He was a master carpenter and jack of all trades. He was always willing to help others in need and taught them how to do for themselves rather than doing it for them. He was a true teacher and mentor to many!
He was elected to the serve on the city council in Kearney, Missouri, from April 1985-April 1989.
Ray married the love of his life Mercedes Ann Axmacher on May 29, 1971 in Ottumwa, Iowa. They were happily married for 51 years. Their life together was beautiful and filled with many highs and of course some challenges which they always got through together. They were happiest when they were traveling or spending time with family.
He is survived by his wife, Ann; their son, Christopher (Misty) Riley and grandson, Brandon of Kearney; his sister, Linda Mangler of Ottumwa; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Ray and Rosemary Riley, and one sister, Judy Cox.
Ray loved his family with his whole heart and fought to be with them as long as possible. He will be missed by all who had the honor of knowing him.
A visitation will be held Monday, October 3, 2022 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Fry-Bross & Spidle Funeral Home. A Celebration of Life service will be held Tuesday, October 4, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. at the Fry-Bross & Spidle Funeral Home, Kearney, Missouri, with Pastor Gary Porter officiating. Burial will follow in the Fairview Cemetery, Kearney, Missouri, with military honors.
Memorial contributions may be given to Oakridge of Plattsburg, a Non-Profit Care Center in Plattsburg, Missouri.
Our Sincere Condolences
Ann I’m sorry for your loss, you and Ray are the best people I have met. God Bless and keep you through Ray’s home going.
Farewell my cousin, you were like my big brother when I was growing up. I also want to follow your steps and join the Air Force too. It saddens me that all these years the only time I could come down there is when I was driving semi and we always have coffee. You are never be forgotten. I pray that you’re in heaven having a great reunion with our grandparents and family members and I pray that God watch over your family it’s still here on earth because you have left a very wonderful family.
Ray will be missed. He was an great person, loved people and was there when someone needed help and enjoyed helping people so they could learn how to better themselves.
My sympathies and prayers goes out to all his family and friends, he will be missed greatly.
With all my love, thoughts and prayers, Joyce Etta Lang.
You didn’t start out as my favorite person. I couldn’t eat French fries in your 69 Chevelle SS and you took my sister away too. I always told you “YOU are my favorite brother-in-law“. You would laugh I’m your only brother-in-law. After 50+ years you grew on me and took care of my sister and nephew. You fought a brave fight my favorite brother-in-law. Rest well, your job on earth is done.
Molly Axmacher Crowell
Our class was large so I never had a class with Ray as it turns out. My condolescence to all you of his family for your loss of a most considerate soul & loved one.