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Raymond Wiley

raymond wiley
Raymond Wiley age 86 of Fredericksburg, IA, died Saturday, December 1, 2018, at New Hampton Nursing & Rehabilitation Center. Funeral Services will be held 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, December 5, 2018, at Trinity Lutheran Church in New Hampton with Rev. Kevin Frey officiating. Interment will be held in the New Hampton City Cemetery. Friends may greet the family 4:00 - 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, December 4, 2018, at Hugeback - Johnson Funeral Home in New Hampton where there will be a Masonic Service held at 4:30 p.m. Visitation continues an hour prior to the service at the church on Wednesday. Memorial gifts may be directed to Trinity Lutheran Church in New Hampton or St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. Ray Wiley of New Hampton—farmer, private pilot, hunter, fisherman, and lover of life—died Saturday, December 1, 2018, two weeks short of his 87th birthday, from complications of radiation cystitis. The oldest child and only son of H.R. and Helen Wiley, Raymond Frank Wiley was born December 15, 1931 on the 60th birthday of his maternal grandfather, Frank Felton. Frank had bought a farm in 1926 in Chickasaw County, seven miles east of New Hampton where H.R. and Helen started farming after their marriage in 1927 and where Ray lived his entire life. Ray graduated in 1949 from New Hampton High School, then continued farming with his father. On July 12, 1954, Ray married Orla Hildahl. When first married, they lived in a two-room house next to the home where Ray grew up. About a year later, H.R. and Helen moved to New Hampton to allow Ray and Orla to move into the farmhouse, where their children, Deb, Steve, Linda, and Sandy were raised. He was an active member of the local Beef Producers. The farm eventually transitioned from livestock to a corn and soybean operation. Ray's favorite activity, which he would enthusiastically proclaim every fall, was to combine corn. Steve followed in his Dad's footsteps and worked alongside him on the farm. Ray also started Wiley Agri Construction for tile drainage, terraces, clearing, and trucking, including grain and livestock hauling. He brought many cattle to Iowa from Wyoming, Montana, and Colorado. He was a member of the Land Improvement Contractors of America. More than 20 years ago, Ray saw the value of additional markets for farmers' grain crops and joined an investor group to open the Exol ethanol plant in Albert Lea, Minnesota, now part of POET Biorefining. He remained an active board member until about a year ago. Ray was a man of many interests and talents. While Orla was pregnant with the twins, he started taking flying lessons to become a private pilot (over Orla's objections). Flying became one of his many passions, and the entire family flew to destinations around Iowa and the Midwest, instilling his children with a deep love of flight. Eventually, a grass runway strip was created on the farm, dubbed "Wiley International Airport" (elevation 1,320 feet). Ray also earned his instrument rating, allowing him to fly in many weather conditions. He was an avid volunteer at the week-long EAAAirVenture Oshkosh, an annual gathering of aviation enthusiasts held each summer in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. He was also a member of the Flying Fez of El Kahir Shrine, volunteers whose purpose is to transport patients and their family to a Shriner’s Children’s Hospital for treatment using aircraft owned and piloted by members. As a young man, Ray became a Mason in the footsteps of his father and enjoyed Masonic activities, often serving in leadership roles. He was also an active member and leader of the New Hampton Lions Club and New Hampton Golf & Country Club. In 1981, the Wileys built a new, single-story house that featured an elevator to the basement, causing a few hoots of amusement until years later when it became clear it was a perfect aid for Ray and Orla to age in place. Ray later decided to heat and cool the house using geothermal energy, one of the many ways in which he was an early adopter of technology. Hunting and fishing were Ray's main hobbies. Combined with his love of travel, he roamed both North and South America in search of fish (oh, so many fish, especially in Canada), birds (including hunts in Mexico and Argentina), and game (such as elk and deer in the American Midwest and West). As much as he loved to hunt and fish, what Ray enjoyed even more was sharing these activities with his many friends. Ray is survived by his wife of 64 years, Orla Wiley; children Deb Wiley (John Schmidt) of Des Moines; Steve Wiley of New Hampton; Linda Ruble (John Ruble) of West Des Moines; andSandy Gahn (Kathy Marean) of Urbandale; granddaughters Anna Ruble, a junior at Luther College, and Cady Ruble, a freshman at Iowa State University;his sisters, Mary Underwood of New Hampton, and Ellie Medberry (Cliff Medberry) of Elgin; and nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Louise Arens.

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  1. Our thoughts and Prayers go out to Orla and all the family. We enjoyed many of good times with Ray, and will miss him not being with us at our many outings. Larry & Jane.

  2. On my first duck hunting trip Ray and I sat in a duck blind together we had a great time. He was a good friend and customer.
    My deepest sympathy to Ray’s family.

  3. Hi Orla, my deepest sympathy, I enjoyed the good talks with you. Give our sympathy to your family. May HIS PROMISE OF ETERNAL LIFE BE A COMFORT TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY IN THE LOSS OF ONE SO DEAR. REST IN PEACE RAYMOND. JACK AND BETTY

  4. Orla, our sympathy to you and your family. I will always remember Ray as a kind man with a contagious smile, and a great neighbor. May God grant him eternal rest. Kathy and Duane Wickman

  5. We are so very saddened to hear of Ray’s passing. He was a big part of our life for many years while Ron worked for him and his family. A wonderful man and very dear to our hearts. Condolences to Orla, Steve, and the rest of the family. He will be missed by everyone who knew him. Ron, Darla, and Kelsey

  6. Our sympathy to you Orla and family. Our prayers and thoughts are with you during this time. Howard always enjoyed visiting with Ray at Lions and church. May God wrap his arms around you. Howard and Sharon Bunger

  7. Orla and family, we extend our sincere sympathy to you and your families.
    God bless you as you grieve the loss of Ray.

  8. Orla and family, Lance and I want to share to each of you our condolences in the passing of Ray. Such a great guy with a wonderful laugh! He will be missed by many. God bless each of you as he sitting next to his Heavenly Father!

  9. Orla and family, condolences on the loss of your dear husband, father, and grandpa. I will remember Ray with a smile on his face and friendly words. Keep sharing his personal story and your memories.

  10. Dear Orla and famly,
    We offer our sympathy and love in the death of your beloved husband, Ray, and father and grandfather. May precious memories give you peace. Henry and Dixie Brueck (John’s sister)

  11. Orla and family, we are sorry for your loss. Ray was a great guy and a good shot. We had a lot of fun shooting together at Deb’s parties. Matt and Angie Christensen

  12. Orla,
    Our deepest sympathies are with you and your family at this difficult time. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Bud & Karol Spores

  13. May the memories of your loved one console you in the next days. All our thoughts and prayers to his family. Jeanne and David Roder

  14. Dear Orla and family,
    We are sorry for your family, for the loss of a great guy. We extend our sympathy to all of you. May you find comfort in your wonderful memories.
    Dave and Sandy Jaschen

  15. To all the Wiley Family, I’m so sorry for your loss. Ray was such a nice man and I always enjoyed visiting with him. He always had a positive attitude with a smile on his face. We shared the same birthday so we always would wish each other Happy Birthday and maybe run into each other at the Pub celebrating it.
    You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

  16. Ray will be greatly missed, I sat next to Ray while serving on the board of directors of Poet Glenville the past 4 years.. Ray and I always had good conversations that I will forever treasure, he was always kind and thoughtful, leading by example. You will forever be in my thoughts. Rest in Peace
    Andrew Bakken
    Albert Lea

  17. Just a thought of how long I’ve know Ray. A neighbor for many years, A very nice Man. My prayers and sympathy are with his family.

  18. Dear Orla and family,

    My deepest sympathy on your loss of Ray. Ray was a very nice thoughtful and kind person. Your in my thoughts and prayers during this time of sorrow.

    Jerry Zipse

  19. I don’t recall ever meeting him. I was a guest in the Wiley home for was a slumber party for Linda & Sandy; I recall one of the activites consisted of making prank phone calls. Your family must miss him terribly.


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