Raymond “Ray” Louis Hiersche, 96, of Tillamook, Oregon, died of pneumonia on Saturday, November 2, 2019, in American Fork, Utah.
Born May 16, 1923, in Portland, Oregon, to Katherine Elizabeth Heinrich and Louis Joseph Hiersche, Ray attended Joseph Lane Elementary School, graduated from Franklin High School in 1941, and became a certified welder, like his father. During the Second World War, Ray served in the U.S. Army in the South Pacific and Japan from 1943 to 1946.
In 1946, Ray met Earmalee Trusty at the Spanish Inn on Powell Boulevard in Portland. They married August 19, 1950 and raised four children. They were married for 53 years until Earmalee’s passing in 2002.
In 1950, Ray graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Oregon State University and took a job with the Bonneville Power Administration, where he worked until his retirement in 1976. From 1961 to 1963, he served a tour with the Department of the Interior in Milan, Italy. There, he helped found the American Community School of Milan and served on the Board of Directors.
After retirement, the Hiersches and Bud and June Neal purchased Kirk’s Cottages in Oceanside, Oregon. Ray, who enjoyed construction and handyman projects, spent many summers working on the property.
In the 1980s, he built a home on the Trask River in Tillamook where he and Earmalee lived for several years.
Ray was a Life Member of the Tillamook Elks Lodge. Over his lifetime, Ray lived in Portland, Oregon; Milan, Italy; Tillamook, Oregon; Carson City, Nevada; and Pleasant Grove, Utah. He toured the United States in a motorhome, drove the Alaska Highway, motorcycled down Baja California, and traveled extensively through Europe and Asia.
Ray was preceded in death by his son Jerry Hiersche, brother Don Hiersche, and wife Earmalee Hiersche. He is survived by his sister Dolores Heinz; sisters-in-law Jean Bailey and Joan Trusty; daughters Megan Ross, Katie Walther, and Robin Hiersche; 19 grandchildren; 28 great-grandchildren; and 7 great-great-grandchildren.
A short memorial and the interment of ashes will be held on Saturday, November 30, 2019 at 12 noon at Sunset Heights Memorial Gardens, located at 7800 Trask River Road, Tillamook, Oregon. A Celebration of Life, including military honors and eulogy, will take place at 1pm at the Tillamook Elks Lodge at 1907 3rd Street. Lunch will be served.
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