Raymond Richard Heusel
- Date Of Birth: April 2, 1919
- Date Of Death: September 23, 2015
- State: Montana
Born April 2, 1919 Salt Fork, OK, to Reverend Albert and Helen Heusel, the family traveled from parish to parish throughout Oklahoma and Texas while Ray was growing up. He joined the army in 1938 and was a regimental bugler. He was discharged in 1941, and then attended Oklahoma State Tech College, in Edmond Oklahoma on a football scholarship. He left there in 1942, and enlisted in the Air Force. There he became a Drill Sargent, and Gunnery Instructor, Power Turret and Gun Sight Mech.
Ray then became a Postal Carrier for the Centerville, Stockett area before going to work as The Veteran Representative at the Montana State Employment Office. During these years, his job was to look out for fellow veterans. He was very involved in numerous organizations to help the handicapped, as his daughter Raylene was afflicted at the age of 3 years. He was on an advisory and executive board that served 16 counties around Great Falls.
He served as the President and Forerunner to a group called ARC.
Ray was also a chairman to help promote National Handicap Employment. He worked closely with the Mayor and other city officials to ensure adequate housing for the disadvantaged people. He was a member of the Epilepsy Foundation, a member of the Moose Lodge, “Past Monarch of Hassan Grotto, and Past Master of “Triangle Masonic Lodge.” Ray was very active in the Disabled American Veterans, and he held positions as Chaplin and Commander. He was instrumental in securing transportation for veterans to Fort Harrison medical care.
As a close friend of Bill W. in A.A with over 30 years of sobriety, Ray was always ready to roll up his sleeves to help others. He developed hobbies during those years, building a HO model working railroad, which filled an entire room. It gave his children and grandchildren many hours of pleasure. His love for vintage cars led him to work many hours to restore a 1953 Buick to mint condition. He enjoyed it, but later sold it to a car collector in Holland.
Ray received numerous citations and letters of commendation, including one from Omar Bradley for his efforts. But, none of which he was more proud of than the smiles, hugs, and handshakes he received from those he helped. Ray will always be remembered as a kind, conscientious, generous man with a heart of gold. He will be missed by many.
Survivors include Ray’s wife of 66 years, Violet Lillian (Green) Heusel; daughter, Linda Heusel Kolwyck (Pat); sons, Richard A. Heusel (Kathie), Charles K. Heusel; nine grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren; brothers, Harold and George Heusel.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Elizabeth Stuteville and Rose Nightengale; brothers, Keith, Clint and Cleo; daughters, Patti Sue (Smith) Heusel and Raylene M. Heusel; great-granddaughter, Annslee J. Heusel.