Ray was born October 26, 1932, in Townsend, Montana to Richard and Violet Nydegger, the youngest child behind Leona, Morris and James. Ray was raised on the family farm and graduated from Broadwater County High School in 1950. He joined the Navy during the Korean War and served on an ammo boat the Mount Baker. He married Jeanne Lawrence in 1972 and was given a bonus addition of Jeanne’s daughter, Jody. They were blessed with two more children John and Jennifer.
Ray has done several different jobs throughout his life: he and his brother Morris owned the Lake Townsend Hotel, drove bus for Townsend Schools, was a local delivery and over the road trucking business, and worked as a road tester for the State of Montana, retiring in 2004 after an extended illness. In 2012, Ray and his wife Jeanne left Townsend, and moved to Melstone to Bill and Jennifer’s family place so that they could be closer to their kids and grandkids.
Ray was also a very civic minded person. He belonged to the Masons, Eastern Star, a former Shriner, a former Dad Advisor for the DeMolay, former Mayor of Townsend, and held all positions within the local, district and state level for Montana American Legion where he and his wife served as State Department Commander/ Auxiliary President in 1975-76.
Ray was a dedicated family member who attended as many of his kid’s activities as possible. He was a kind man who always tried to make others comfortable. Then in 1987, he started the next chapter of his life when he became a Grandpa to the first of 9 grandkids and in 2019, he became a Great Grandpa. Up until just a year ago at the age of 86 he could be still be found the road going to as many of his Grandkids events as he could.
Ray’s health struggles over the past 20 years had him spending so many days in the hospital that he became a favorite of many doctors and nurses. He was the patient that all of them wanted, sometimes causing them to argue over which one had the opportunity to be his nurse because he always made them laugh at his jokes.
He will be missed by his wife Jeanne, daughters Jennifer (Bill) Bergin, Paul, Michael, James; Jody (Kelly) Haaland, Christine (Bo Kombol), Caitlin (Kellen) Kessler, Hadley; son John (Chris) Nydegger, Hayes & Reagan, nieces Paula Plymale, Sherri (Jon) Burr, Helen Donahue, Rickee (Bill) Arntz, honorary son Garth (Cara) Olds, and honorary grandsons Vinny Machado and Chris Ronning. We are so grateful for the memories that we have and everyone who helped along the way, especially Amanda Weigum for daily care and those with Stillwater Hospice who went above and beyond to help ease the pain as he left for a better place.
Ray was preceded in death by his Mother and Father, Violet and Richard Nydegger, his sister and brother-in-law Leona & Paul Plymale, his brothers Morris and Jim & Shirley Nydegger, his Granddaughters Anna Marie and Breckin Nydegger and his nephew in law Joe Donahue.
Services will be held on Friday, August 21, 2020 at 11:00 at Zion Lutheran Church in Roundup with a reception directly following the service at the Masonic Hall. Burial will be held at Deep Creek Cemetery, Townsend, 2:00 pm on Saturday, August 22, 2020.
Memorials can be sent to: Melstone EMT’s, Veteran’s Meat locker or Stillwater Hospice or to the donor’s choice. Condolences may be expressed to the family at wierfuneralhome.com.
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401 6th St. West
Roundup, MT 59072
17 Deep Creek Road
Townsend, MT 59644