Send a Sympathy Card
Plant Memorial Trees
Saturday, November 4, 2023
12:30 - 1:30pm (Central time)
Saturday, November 4, 2023
1:30 - 2:30pm (Central time)
Raymond Neal Wilson was born in Marceline, Missouri on January 3, 1935 to Eula (Snider) and Claud Wilson. Ray passed away peacefully surrounded by family on October 27, 2023. He was 88 years old when he passed and was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.
Ray was one of 8 children and was raised on a farm. He spent his childhood years working on the farm with his family, where he learned valuable skills that he would use throughout his life.
As a young man, Ray left the small town of Marceline to serve his country in the Army. After his service, he moved to Kansas City to attend a trade school and be trained in electronics. Upon completion of this training, he was employed at Bendix/Allied Signal where his dedication, hard work and incredible talent in electronics were valued. He led a team responsible for developing and installing the electronics for the non-nuclear components of nuclear weapons. In this way, Ray continued his service to his country.
While working at Bendix, Ray met Marjorie Louise Nichols Gentile. Ray and Marge knew they were destined to be together, so they eloped and were married on December 31, 1959. They were married for almost 62 years and raised 5 children together. Ray was a constant at the 3 & 2 Baseball Field, always mentoring and teaching his sons how to play baseball. He was also a coach and umpire for many of the baseball teams who played at 3 & 2. Once Ray became a grandfather, he became forever lovingly known as Papa. He was also a loving Papa to his grand-dog, Lexi, who would become very excited when Papa put on his baseball hat because that signaled a very long walk was in her future.
Ray could fix anything and usually insisted on doing any task, job or project around the house himself. He always had a perfect lawn and cared for his yard himself until he was well into his 80s. The neighbors in their Red Bridge neighborhood loved his rose garden that was home to more than 70 different rose bushes. He could identify every single rose by name and knew just how to make them bloom. His rose garden was beautiful, and he loved to pick the most exquisite roses for Marge to place around the house. Margie always had beautiful rosebuds in the sunroom, where she and Ray spent time together enjoying the warmth of the sun while Ray would drink his coffee, which he did at every chance he got. He had a dry sense of humor and could lob a zinger like no other. When he laughed, we all laughed.
Once Marge and Ray were able to retire, they enjoyed traveling with travel groups and friends. They traveled as often as possible, experiencing many parts of the world, including New York City where they visited the World Trade Center the night before 9/11.
Marge and Ray were dedicated members at Red Bridge United Methodist Church, where they were active in the Genesis Sunday School Class which they attended faithfully. All who entered Sunday service at the lower level of the Church, including the children, were greeted for years by Marge at one door and Ray at the other. They loved seeing all the children and the children loved seeing them. Ray generously gave of his time and energy to help at the Church. He was called upon to generally do anything that needed to be done to keep the systems and facilities running smoothly, and, of course, he lovingly cared for the grounds.
Ray was never the same after his beloved Margie passed away and during the last few years of his life, as he physically and mentally declined, he never complained. He was onery to the staff at Benton House Assisted Living Center in Lenexa, KS, where everyone received a good-natured teasing. Even as he suffered with dementia, he knew his family and on his last day of consciousness, he acknowledged his family’s presence and verbally prayed with us all as we said goodbye.
Ray is survived by daughters Karen Hancock (Steve), Mindy Gentile McClosky (Gregg), Lindy Gidseg (Glenn), and son Dave Wilson (Karen). Brothers Kenneth Wilson and Cecil Wilson. Grandchildren Alison Haywood (Austin), Brooke Hancock (Ignacio Chamon), Steven Wilson (Juli), Jake Wilson, Erica Williams (Rob), Jake McClosky, and Sarah Hennington (Connor). Great-Grandchildren Carter Haywood, Hailey Rayne Nordstrom, Kadyn, Carter, Kinley, and Colton Williams.
He was preceded in death by his wife Marjorie Louise Wilson, his parents, brother Buford Wilson, sisters Bernice Stewart, Claudine Palmer, Evelyn Apel, and Betty Leslie, son Steven Gentile, and grandson Jason Nordstrom.
A celebration of his life will be held at Red Bridge United Methodist Church (636 E.117th St., Kansas City, Missouri) on Saturday, November 4, 2023. A visitation will begin at 12:30, followed by a funeral service at 1:30. Ray will be laid to rest at Johnson County Memorial Gardens (11200 Metcalf Ave. Overland Park, Kansas). In lieu of flowers memorial funds have been established in his name at Red Bridge United Methodist Church and Monarch Hospice.