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Raymond ‘Ray’ Paul Fetzer Sr.

(Nov. 23, 1925 – Dec. 26, 2011)

Raymond Paul Fetzer, Sr., age 86, longtime Basin resident died in Billings on Monday, Dec. 26, 2011.

Ray was born Nov. 23, 1925 in Fullerton, N.D. to Edward and Pauline (Rassler) Fetzer.  He attended school in Fullerton through the eighth grade. The family moved to Powell in 1939, and Ray graduated from Powell High School in 1944. 

He was active in sports and still holds the 100-yard dash record in track. He also played basketball, football and Junior League baseball.

Prior to his high school graduation, Ray was drafted into the U.S. Navy in 1944 and was honorably discharged in 1946.

Ray married Patricia Bartley in 1947. From this union three children were born: Ray Jr., Pamela and Peggy. They divorced in 1951.  He married Rose Leis in 1953. From this union four sons were born: Randal Fetzer, now living in Hawaii, twin boys, David and Daniel and then Wayne, who were all born premature and did not survive. A nephew, Kenny Gordon Leis, joined the family in 1955.

Ray was a graduate of the School of Mortuary Science in St. Louis, Mo., and used his license part-time for at least 30 years in Basin and previously in Douglas, Cody and Powell. He moved to Basin in 1957, worked for Big Horn Rural Electric for 31 years and retired in 1987.

Ray was a licensed umpire for Little League and Junior Legion baseball for 15 years. When he came to Basin, Ray started women’s softball. He coached women’s and girl’s softball. He also played on a softball team for many years. Ray was an avid fisherman and loved camping.

He was treasurer for the Big Horn County Library Board and served on the Senior Citizen Board for many years. This does not begin to encompass his life. He loved people, laughter and life. He was a good man and he was loved.

Ray was preceded in death by his parents, Edward and Pauline Fetzer; three sons, David and Daniel Fetzer and Wayne Fetzer; his brother, Lester Fetzer; and his sister, Freda Bardell.

Ray is survived by his loving wife of 58 years, Rose Fetzer of Basin; his sons, Ray (Lanette) Fetzer of Powell, Randy Fetzer of Honolulu, Hawaii; and Kenny (Kathy) Leis of Grand Junction, Colo.; his daughters, Pamela (John) Babson of Cheyenne, and Peggy (Terry) Melander of Kenai, Alaska; his sister, Gloria (Magnar) Haram of Spooner, Wis.; 12 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandson.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 3 at the Atwood Family Chapel in Greybull with Pastor Tim Trippel officiating at the service. Burial will follow at the Mount View Cemetery in Basin with full military graveside rites conducted by the American Legion Marion Tanner Post 29. A reception will follow at the Elks BPOE Lodge No. 1431 in Greybull.

Memorials in Ray’s name will be received at Bank of Greybull, 601 Greybull Avenue, Greybull, WY, 82426.  Proceeds will go to the Senior Citizens Center in Greybull and to the American Legion Marion Tanner Post 29.

Atwood Family Funeral Directors, Inc. is in charge of arrangements.

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