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Obituary: Reichenberg, Ray E.

REICHENBERG, Ray E. Ray E. Reichenberg, age 82, passed away on April 23 surrounded by the family he took his greatest pride in. As he always said, “I’m so lucky.” Ray was born January 8, 1932 to Robert and Tillie Reichenberg of Chewelah, WA. He was the younger brother of Pauline (Kester Bauchwitz), Irene (who died in infancy) and Clifford. From his mother, Ray learned early to value hard work. By the time Ray was ten years old he and Clifford shared all but one paper route in Chewelah. His father passed on his love for music; Ray played gospel and country-western banjo, guitar, piano and harmonica. At Jenkins High School Ray played baseball, football and ran track. He also excelled at Math and Science. He and his high school sweetheart, Laura Jean Hoel, graduated in 1950 and married the following September. They have three daughters. Ray worked for Northwest Magnesite and Standard Oil before buying a service station in Chewelah in 1956. He expanded it to include a tire shop and then added a retread plant (Great Northern Bandag) and a trucking operation. In these years he served as a volunteer fireman, initiated the establishment of United Security Bank and started his 50 years as a member of the Masonic Lodge. He also enjoyed many hours hunting and making German sausage. Before selling the tire business in 1977 Ray established Great Northern Development, working on a large number of roads and developments. He attempted retirement two or three times; in between he owned Evergreen Fabricated Metal and took on new development projects as well as enjoying his grandchildren. In 1995 he and Laura Jean moved permanently to Nine Mile Falls. He attended Nine Mile Falls Community Church, avidly supported the NRA, and enjoyed many pets including his dog, Barney. As he told his wife not long ago, “It hasn’t always been an easy life, but it’s never been boring.” Ray’s family calls him intelligent, hardworking, humorous, loving, and honest. In business, as in life, he was always confident, optimistic and personally invested. In later years he showed his affection with loving words and praise, but he’d always shown it through his generosity, desire to help, protectiveness and funny nicknames. Ray was preceded in death by his parents and siblings. He is survived by his wife, Laura Jean; daughters Susan Neumann, Sharon Macgregor, and Carolyn Cosby and their husbands; seven grandchildren and their spouses; three great-grandchildren (with two more on the way); and a large number of nieces, nephews, and friends. A memorial service for Ray will be held at Shiloh Hills Fellowship, 207 E. Lincoln Rd., Spokane, WA 99208, Saturday, May 10, at 1pm. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests sending memorial gifts to Nine Mile Falls Community Church, P.O. Box 113, Nine Mile Falls, WA 99026 or Hospice of Spokane North, P.O. Box 2215, Spokane, WA 99210.