Retired Master Sgt. Ray Earl Switzer, age 54, of Dwight, Kansas, passed away Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018, in Manhattan, surrounded by his family.
Ray was born on Feb. 8, 1964, in Mountain View, California, the son of Guy and Peggy (Kellogg) Switzer. He was the youngest of three boys. He graduated in 1982 from Council Grove High School. he later attended Manhattan Vo-Tech and graduated from the Auto Body Collision and Repair program.
He was united in marriage to Brenda Porter Feb. 15, 1986, in Dwight, Kansas. She survives at their home. Together they have three loving children: Jessica (Brandon), Thomas (Jennifer) and Dillon (Elizabeth) and blessed with five grandchildren; Lauryn, Emerson, Isaac, Charlotte, and Noah.
Ray joined the United States Army in March 1986. During his service, he trained in Japan, Thailand, and Korea and later deployed in support of Operations Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom. Ray was awarded the Bronze Star in May 1991.
After his service in active duty, Ray joined the Kansas National Guard, where he had various duty assignments throughout Kansas and the nation. He retired in May 2018 with 32 years of combined Active Duty and National Guard service to his country.
In addition to his military service Ray also worked for the state of Kansas at the Regional Sustainment Site – Maintenance for 21 years and prior to his illness, two years with the Maneuver And Training Equipment Site and Fort Riley. He made numerous friendships during his working career.
Ray loved the outdoors and camping with his family. Two of his favorite places to camp were Rocky Mountain National Forest as well as Council Grove Reservoir. He loved spending his time fishing, kayaking, canoeing, riding dirt bikes, hunting and teaching his grandkids outdoor lessons.
His family was his number one priority and he showed that in his health and sickness his entire life. It was important for him to be there for them and he always ensured the family came first. Ray always knew how to make his family laugh and his sense of humor was like no other.
He was a member of the Phillip Gard Post 289 of the American Legion in Dwight since 1992. He was also a member of the Dwight Presbyterian Church.
He was preceded in death by his father Guy.
In addition to his wife, Brenda, he is survived by his children, grandchildren, his mother, Peggy Switzer- Wandersee (Melvin), brothers, Kelly (Kathy), and Scott (Pam) and many extended family members.
The family will greet friends during a visitation from 6:30 until 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018 at the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home in Manhattan.
Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Thursday at the Dwight United Methodist Church, in Dwight, KS, with Pastor Duane Andres officiating. Interment with full military honors will follow in the Dwight Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions are suggested the KU Endowment- for Cancer Research or to the House of Hope. Contributions may be left in care of the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home, 1616 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan, Kansas 66502.
Online condolences may be left for the family through the funeral home website at www.ymlfuneralhome.com
6:30 until 8:00 p.m.
Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home
1616 Poyntz Avenue
Thursday 10/18/2018 2:00 p.m.
Dwight United Methodist Church
501 7th Street
Interment with full military honors will follow the service in Dwight Cemetery
Online condolences can be left at http://www.ymlfuneralhome.com/obituary/6147