Ray Butler, age 80, peacefully passed away on Tuesday, July 16, 2019 at the Whatcom Hospice House in Bellingham. Ray was born June 18, 1939, in the same house that his mother was born in the township of Lone Hill, Arkansas. he was about 18 months when his family moved to Southern California.
On a family vacation in 1968 to the Ferndale area to visit the Fiscus family, Ray made the decision to transfer from the Torrance Mobil Refinery to the Ferndale Refinery. He had said to his wife Carol, “this is like heaven here”. In the summer of 1969, Ray purchased the family farm and moved his family from Southern California to the great northwest.
Ray worked for Mobil refinery for 25 years and continued with BP for another 6 years and then retired in 1993. All while Ray worked at the Ferndale Refinery he kept busy operating his small farm raising beef cattle. In the fall of 1999 Ray sold all his cattle. That December he and Carol officially became snowbirds and would continue for the next 18 years going to Lake Havasu, AZ for the winter.
Ray was well known for his lush garden that he grew every year. He often shared from his garden’s abundance, freezing and canning his own vegetables. He loved hunting and fishing. In early years he raised registered German Shorthair bird dogs. In his retired years he loved to golf and from his recliner he loved to root for the Mariners. When not south for the winter, Ray attended regularly the Ferndale Senior Center where he loved to shoot pool with his friends.
Ray was preceded in death by his parents Sherman and Bessie Butler and brother Bill Butler. He is survived by his wife Carol of 59 years, son Michael of Birch Bay and daughter Jody (David) Umphenour of Chowchilla, CA; his sister Alice of Midlothian, TX; Aunt Maxine of Yucaipa, CA; Aunt Blanche of Newberry Springs, CA; six grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
A celebration of Ray’s life will be held at the Ferndale Senior Center, 1999 Cherry St., Ferndale, WA 98248 Saturday, August 10, 2019 at 11:00 AM. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to be made to the Whatcom Hospice House and or the Ferndale Senior Center.
Ferndale Senior Center
1999 Cherry Street, Ferndale WA 98248
Whatcom Hospice House
2806 Douglas Avenue, Bellingham WA 98225