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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Raymond Lebsack

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Nov. 9, 1917 - March 2, 2009

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Raymond Lebsack "Spiny Ray," 91 years old, of Spokane, Wash., passed away Monday, March 2, 2009, at The Spokane Hospice House, where he had been surrounded by the love and support of his family.

Raymond was born Nov. 9, 1917, in Brush, Colo., to Jacob and Elizabeth Lebsack who eventually moved to McCook where Ray grew up.

Raymond joined the U.S. Army Air Corps, where he was a B-24 Tail-gunner flying 31 missions over Europe during World War II. Ray was recalled to active duty during the Korean War and decided to make the U.S. Air Force a career.

Ray and his family traveled extensively with assignments stateside as well as Germany, France, Okinawa and Thailand. They have visited Hong Kong, Taiwan and countries in Europe.

Ray retired as a Chief Master Sergeant, after 26 years of service and with the following honors, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, Commendation Medal with two OLC, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with three battle stars, World War II Victory Medal, National Defense Service Medal with one Bronze Star, Vietnam Service Medal, Air Force Longevity Service Award, Good Conduct Medal and Air Force Outstanding Unit Award.

After retirement he continued to pass on his love of fishing to his family and friends while writing a fishing column for "The Outdoor Press" of Spokane as "Spiny Ray" for more than 20 years. He also wrote outdoor articles for the McCook Daily Gazette in the 1980s.

He was Ambassador and field tester for Berkley Trilene and assisted getting the Wild Salmonid Policy passed in 1997 with Washington State.

Raymond is survived by the "catch of his life" wife, Helen Jean (Downs) of McCook, whom he married on Aug. 16, 1939. They were married for 70 wonderful years.

Ray is also survived by their three sons, Col. Raymond Lynn (Ret.) and wife, Anne, Lt. Col. Gerald Lee (Ret.) and wife Kelly, and Alan Michael; seven grandchildren, Commander Michael (USCG) and wife, Donna, Steve, Matthew and wife, Teressa, Jennifer, Shane and wife, Linda, Jodi and husband, Sam and Tom; nine great-grandchildren, Jacob, Jesse, Jeremiah, Juliyana, Jackson, Casen, Mackenzie, Ashton and Madeline; and three sisters, Eleanora, Lillian and Norma.

He will be greeted in Heaven by his parents and grandparents and his granddaughter, Sunny.

Memorial service will be Thursday, March 12, 2009, at 2 p.m. at New Hope Christian Center, 1108 N. Argonne Rd., Spokane, WA 99212.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Spokane Valley Meals on Wheels at 321 S. Dishman Mica Rd, Spokane Valley, WA 99206.

A quote by Ray

last entry of his flight log World War II

"Sure we made mistakes, but we learned from them and we all grew together. One thing we had was a kind of mutual trust that brought us through the most trying of circumstances."

Ooo-Ahh Grandpa, we love you!