Passed away in her sleep on March 13, 2012 in Spokane, WA at the age of 95.
Born to Fred and Fernanda Lembke on January 5, 1917, on a dry land wheat farm near Fort Benton, MT, Marie was born nearly three months premature and was not expected to live more than a few days.
Even as an infant, Marie displayed the quiet strength and determination that would characterize the rest of her life.
Marie graduated from Ft. Benton High School and Montana State Normal School where she received her teaching certificate.
She spent several years teaching in one-room schoolhouses in rural Montana before moving to Washington during WWII.
She met and married Donald Robert Ray in 1945 and the couple made their home in Puyallup and Renton before moving to Cheney in 1961.
Marie completed a BA in Educ.
at Central WA University and then taught 3rd grade and was an elementary librarian in the Cheney School District until her retirement.
Marie’s favorite activity was spending time with friends and family, often camping and in later years, RVing.
She was also an avid bridge player, and after her retirement, a researcher of family history.
Always thoughtful and considerate with a quick wit and great sense of humor, Marie was always there to reach out a helping hand to those in need.
She truly made a difference in the lives she touched.
At Marie’s request, no public memorial will be held.
Her ashes will be placed with those of her beloved husband, Don, during a private ceremony at Pines Cemetery in the Spokane Valley.
She is survived by her daughter, Linda; two grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
Her family requests that no flowers or remembrances be sent.
Instead, if you wish to honor her memory, take time to hug those closest to you.
Look at those you love who may be struggling and reach out a helping hand.
That is what she would be doing if she were still among us.