His genuineness and spirit were an inspiration to all.
He was born July 2, 1959, in Anaconda, Mont., to Gerald (Bud) and Peg Patterson. At the age of 2 he became a “Navy brat,” and his school years were spent attending schools in Rhode Island and California. He graduated from Encinal High School in Alameda, Calif., in 1977.
He then served four years in the Air Force, serving most of his time at Malmstrom Air Force Base, in Great Falls, Mont. After his honorable discharge from the Air Force they moved to Cody, where he worked for UBC, Boydston and Franzen Well Service and Schlumberger.
His daughter Nicolette joined the family and was the joy of his life. She passed away just before her first birthday and was always a presence in his life.
After his first marriage ended, he met Joanne Kudla and two years later they married and began their life together. Their marriage was blessed with two sons, Kenneth and Matthew.
Raymond worked in the oil fields for 18 years, where he made many lifelong friends and learned many skills that served him well.
He made a career change in 1999 and enrolled in Northwest College, earning an associate’s degree in nursing. He worked at West Park Hospital during his nursing career.
When Ray wasn’t in the hills, he was home working on many home improvement and yard projects. Through his persistence and endurance, he taught himself many things, including carpentry, electrical work and plumbing. These skills served him well when he remodeled their home from top to bottom, room by room.
Ray’s biggest passions were his family and outdoor adventures and nothing made him happier than combining the two. His work in the oil field and his interest in all things outdoors made him very knowledgeable about the Big Horn Basin. He loved to share that knowledge with his sons, family and friends as he pursued his interests in hiking, fishing, camping, riding four-wheelers and hunting. His legacy will continue through his sons.
Ray is survived by his wife Joanne and sons Kenneth and Matthew, all of Cody; parents, Bud and Peg Patterson of Opportunity, Mont.; sisters Vicky Hicks of Helena, Mont., and Barbra (Roy) Christensen of Columbia Falls, Mont.; uncles, aunts, cousins, nieces and nephews and many friends.
He was preceded in death by his daughter, Nicolette, and his grandparents.
Viewing will be at Ballard Funeral Home on Tuesday, Oct. 1, from 5-6:30 p.m. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 2, at Christ Episcopal Church. Burial will follow at Riverside Cemetery. The family suggests memorial donations to Spirit Mountain Hospice in Cody. An online memorial is available at www.ballardfh.com.