Raymond “Ray” Addleman, 79, of La Grande, Oregon passed away on December 25 in the comfort of his home with the support of his devoted wife, Marge Addleman. He was born July 13, 1939 in the Midwest farming community of Springfield Nebraska. As a boy, he grew up on a small farm and went to a one room country school house. As a young man he discovered the original Pontiac V8’s and his wife from a neighboring small town. On their honeymoon they drove through the mountains of Colorado and soon left the cornfields to settle there. He watched the birth of the jet engine, commercial aviation and then learned to fly himself. He saw the dawn of the space age and watched the first men walking on the moon. He witnessed and participated in enormous changes in the world; beginning his working life behind a horse and plow and ended his working years fixing computer controlled tractors.
Ray was known to be rugged and independent, some might even say ornery. He enjoyed both food groups, meat and potatoes. He was a hard worker with a wide range of skills and interests. He worked as a commercial pilot, flight instructor, FAA certified examiner, rancher, commercial driver, solider, mechanic, carpenter and general building contractor. He was drafted and served with distinction in the US Army from 1963-1965 garnering numerous awards for meritorious service. The family moved to the Grande Ronde Valley in 1977 to be raised in the country and the beautiful Blue Mountains. His hobbies included fishing, elk hunting, raising animals and ATV trail riding in the local mountains. He was mechanically gifted and loved working in his shop fixing and building a bewildering variety of things ranging from large machines to small works of art. Over the years, unique furniture, custom fishing lures, wining pinewood derby cars, and creative western art flowed out of his shop. Countless things, large and small, were fixed. He was happiest when the wood fire was crackling in the shop stove and friends and family were with him working together on something.
Survivors include his wife of 58 years Marge, a retired RN who has worked hard to keep him comfortable at home in the last difficult few years. He helped raise 3 children, fostering a strong work ethic and development of independent characters resulting in Shane the scientist, Sheila the artist and Matt the solider. He was blessed with grandchildren he adored; include a grandson who carries his name forward. He is also survived by his 2 sisters, Lois in Nebraska and Judy in Arizona.
As all who knew him will attest, Ray was not one for fancy events and no formal service will be held immediately. A ceremony will be held at the Veterans Memorial Circle of Life in La Grande Oregon in the spring of 2019. Date TBD and announcement will be forthcoming. Ray was a life longer learner and supporter of education. Memorials for Ray may be made to the Addleman Scholarship Fund, which provides support to graduating local high school students to pursue continuing education. Contributions to the Addleman Scholarship Fund, c/o Addleman family at 1405 Progress Loop, La Grande, OR 97850.