Raymond Oliver Nordstrom
August 9, 1919 ~ April 19, 2012
Montrose -- Raymond Oliver Nordstrom, 92, died on April 19, 2012 at Montrose Rehabilitation Center at Valley Manor. He peacefully left his tired, earthly body and entered the arms of his Lord and Savior.
Ray was the youngest of five boys born to Nels and Esther Nordstrom, Swedish immigrants to the U.S. who lived in Chicago, Illinois. In his teen years he was an adamant follower of “Big Band” music and loved dancing with Patricia (Pat) L. McChesney who became his wife on March 5, 1942. They were privileged to share 62 vibrant, romantic years together.
After their marriage Ray served with the Army Air Corps at Williams Air Base in Arizona where he trained dogs to guard airplanes. He was honored to be part of America’s World War II efforts and this experience launched him into a life-long love of dogs. A recent highlight of his life was participation in the 2010 Veterans Honor Flight to Washington, DC.
Following the war Ray and Pat went back to Chicago for a short period of time, then in 1947 they moved to Colorado Springs where they raised their four children. Ray was employed with the El Paso County Health Department for over 30 years. In addition, he conducted dog obedience classes, groomed dogs and was an Obedience Judge for the American Kennel Club. Ray loved to cruise the auctions and estate sales in Colorado Springs looking for bargains and became a collector of many things. He was particularly fond of railroad and model railroading items, Indian lore and war memorabilia.
Ray loved to explore Colorado by jeep and took his family on many adventures which often ended in what became known as “Nordstrom Short Cuts” (routes which took much longer than the original.) He loved fishing and his enthusiasm would lead bystanders to believe he was catching many fish, even if he wasn’t!
Following his retirement, Ray and Pat moved to their new home in Cedaredge where they lived for nearly 19 years, enjoying access to the mountains and wonderful fishing lakes. In 1999 they moved to Montrose where they regularly attended senior meals at the Pavilion. After Pat’s death in 2003 Ray worked as a volunteer in the kitchen for several years, delighting his coworkers with his smile and enthusiasm.
Ray’s faith and family formed the core of his life. He was always actively involved in a church and for many years served as a member of Gideon’s International providing Bibles to people and working in the Gideon’s ministry to prisoners. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Montrose. His family was greatly enriched by his faith and his joy for living.
Surviving family members who are so grateful to have shared his life include one son, Kenneth Nordstrom and wife Betsy of Cedaredge; and three daughters: Jeanne Motley and husband Robert of Montrose; Nancy Lamar and husband Dan of Montrose; Chris Wilson and husband Phil of Van Texas. Pat and Ray were blessed with eight grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren (with two more on the way). Every night Ray would pray for God’s protection and blessing on this family, “especially the children.”
Ray was preceded in death by his parents, his wife and his four brothers.
A memorial service to celebrate Ray’s life will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 25 at First Presbyterian Church in Montrose. A family graveside service will follow at Cedaredge Cemetery. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to: The Gideon’s International, 50 Century Blvd., Nashville, TN 37214 or a charity of choice in memory or Raymond O. Nordstrom.
Arrangements are being handled under the direction and care of the Crippin Funeral Home and Crematory of Montrose, Co.