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U.S. veteran Bufford Ray Owens was born Oct. 3, 1916, to Lora and Zol Owens in Miles, Mo., and passed Oct. 14, 2010, at Heritage Club Alzheimer’s Care Center in Aurora.
Ray resided in Brighton most of his life, but he had also lived in Missouri, Wyoming, and Idaho. He was very proud of attaining at 8th grade graduation. He joined the army in 1936 and was honorably discharged in 1938. He worked as a pressman, sales person, and eventually opened RV Printing, and later Western Lock and Key, both in Brighton, from which he retired in 1992. He was very active in politics, Salvation Army and Elks Lodge. He helped start the Eagles Lodge in Brighton and started and was very active in the Rambling Rose Campers Club. He was an active member of Brighton Longspeak Church of God. Square dancing was a fun and special time. He enjoyed dancing, traveling and spending time with family and friends.
Salvation Army was very important to Ray. He told many times about being in the army and the Salvation Army was there to help and give to the soldiers any items they needed. He rang the Christmas bells and was very active with helping kids to get to camps during the summer.
Ray married Catherine Plastied in 1937 in Grand Junction. They had 4 children, Betty (John) Stutheit, Neal Owens, Jean Owens & Larry Owens; 12 grandchildren; 20 great grandchildren; and 21 great grandchildren.
Ray married Viola McNelis June 7, 1958, in Gunnison. This added 5 additional children to his life. He treated each of them like they were his own: Margaret (Paul) Mansil, Edward (Von Zae) McNelis, Janice (Max) Davis, Marcella McNelis and Bill (Annette) McNelis.
Ray was preceded in death by his wife, Viola; his parents; sister; and son, Neil.
Visitation is scheduled for from 5 to 8 p.m., Oct. 18 at Tabor-Rice Funeral Home in Brighton. Funeral Service will be at 10 a.m., Oct. 19, at Longspeak Church of God. Interment to follow at Elmwood Cemetery.
Memorial Contributions can be made to: Longspeak Church of God, 295 N. 12th Ave., Brighton, CO 80601.
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