The Rev. Ray Nott, as his parishioners knew him, was a Presbyterian National Missionary in the Big Horn Basin.
Rev. David Hunter will officiate at the service and burial in Crown Hill Cemetery. A fellowship lunch will be served in Ferren Hall following the interment.
Ray was born Dec. 28, 1922 in Omaha, Nebr., to George Raymond and Helen Pauline (Knoppel) Nott. Soon after, the family moved to Kansas City, Mo. Ray always said his life really began when he was 11 years old when the family moved to Tulsa, Okla. He referred to himself as an “Okie”.
He graduated from vocational school of Central High School with an emphasis in woodworking, metal works, and electrical knowledge.
During the next six years he had several pursuits; a riveter with American Airlines until an eye exam disqualified him; a Golden Glove light-weight boxer; business manager and printer for a paint company; dance band drummer, and entertainer with the USO during World War II.
In 1946 he entered Tulsa University, graduating in political science and philosophy. In 1950 he continued his education at Princeton Theological Seminary, graduated and was ordained in 1953. The same year he married Nancianna Bishop of Marysville, Ohio, and they moved to Wyoming to start their life together. They had three children: Michael Ray, Amanda Lyn, and Samuel Lee.
Ray’s ministry of 31 years was to the rural communities of Shell, Whistle Creek, Hamilton Dome, Grass Creek, Otto-Burlington area, and Emblem. He had Worship Services, Bible Studies, Vacation Bible Schools, visitation, and sacraments. He said it was a way of life and not a job.
He served as Moderator of Sheridan and Wyoming Presbyterian; Moderator of the Synod of the Rockies; on the Advisory Committee of the Board of National Missions; with the National Standard Examination Committee of the Presbyterian Church; and as Chairman of the Synod of the Rockies. He spoke on Mission Interpretation Teams; at stewardship conferences; mission emphasis weeks at colleges; New Wilmington Missionary Conferences for Youth; Mid-America Wee-Kirk Conferences, Omaha School of Theology, and for numerous non-secular groups.
His work as a Mobile Minister has been featured twice in articles in the Saturday Evening Post, and also in Presbyterian Life, Concern, and numerous other publications.
He was Manager/Director of the Northwest Rancher’s Camps during all of his ministry. The camps were held in isolated areas for ranchers, loggers, and Spanish-speaking Presbyterians across Wyoming, Nebraska, Nevada, Washington, and Colorado. He also participated in camps for the Sioux Indians in South Dakota, North Dakota, and Montana.
Ray served Northwest College for 18 years on the Board of Trustees. As president through most of those years, he spoke at graduations and enjoyed involvement with the student body.
He was a Wyoming State Senator in the late 70s, serving on the Judiciary and Revenue Committees. He was also their part-time Chaplain, and his prayers brought the legislative staff out of their offices. A newspaper editor referred to Ray as a “..blending of the keen, though comical, insight of a Will Rogers and the straight-talking, uncompromising principles of political ancestors such as Abraham Lincoln. The result is a man whose words are heeded and who makes his points unquestionably clear.”
He was President of the Wyoming Youth Council, and spoke at the Governor’s youth convention as well as other youth seminars. He also worked on the Executive Committee of the Wyoming Health Systems Agency and helped to develop a State Health Plan.
After retirement, Ray and his wife did Substance Volunteer-in-Missions in Bangkok, Thailand. They were Managers and Directors of the Bangkok Christian Guest House for two years.
Ray’s many interests extended to playing tennis; organizing boxing tournaments; attending the Northwest College sporting events; judging speech meets; reader and poem writer; museum-quality model ship builder; traveling to see his family; visiting friends in USA, Scotland, Thailand, Marshall Islands, and Poenipi.
Survivors include his wife, Nancianna; sons, Michael and wife Betsy, Sam and wife Elizabeth; daughter, Amanda; three granddaughters, Honna Vanhoozier, Shimiko Nott, and Caroline Nott; five grandsons, West Nott, Logan Vanhoozier, Kevin Vanhoozier, Noah Nott, Ian Nott; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents and by his brother, Robert.
For those who wish, the family requests that donations be made to Worldwide Ministries Division, Presbyterian Church (USA), 100 Witherspoon Street, Louisville, KY 40202-1396, or to a charity of choice.
Arrangements will be handled by Thompson Funeral Home of Powell.