Ramon (Ray) Claire Farley, age 82, passed away on August 4, 2017, at St. Anthony Regional Hospital in Carroll, Iowa. He was attending a celebration of his hometown of Glidden, Iowa’s 150 year anniversary. He was born on May 3, 1935 in Carroll County, Iowa to Chester (Chet) and Doris (Luke) Farley.
He grew up in Glidden, Iowa, graduating form Glidden High School in 1953. After high school he attended college at Barrington College in Providence, Rhode Island, Taylor University in Upland, Indiana where he received a degree in secondary education.
Ray married Frances (Fran) Ritchel in 1956 in Fairfield, Connecticut after meeting in the summer of 1955 while working at Word of Life Summer Camp in Schroon Lake, New York. They were happily married for 61 years.
He began teaching, administration and coaching career in Marion and Peru, Indiana where he worked for 20 years. During that time he received a Master’s Degree in Education from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana and pursued doctoral studies in education.
Ray and Fran then moved to Roswell, New Mexico, where he taught and served as the head of the Science Department at Roswell High School for another 20 years. He retired in 1997 after 40 years of teaching and coaching.
He enjoyed more than anything else spending time with his four grandsons every summer as they grew up. Between Family Camp at Bonita Park and summer road trips in the RV they all developed a bond with each other that remains unbroken.
Kevin Farley is his first grandson. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, he played lacrosse and was Captain of a champion Navy Cycling Team. He is a Navy Fighter Pilot. He and Grandpa Ray shared love for all things mechanical, hard work, and ice cream. Their work and witness trip to Peru together was a highlight of their lives.
Brian Farley is Ray’s second grandson and is a graduate of the University of California, where he was a three-year letterman and staring offensive lineman for the Golden Bears, he also played lacrosse at Cal. He and his grandpa shared a deep appreciation of football and lacrosse, the outdoors, history, and good food. Brian loved his summers with his Grandpa.
Mitchell McCleery is the third grandson. Mitchell is a graduate of Full Sail University with a degree in Computer Animation. Mitchell loved taking trips with his grandparents in their RV. Grandpa loved to see all of Mitchell’s computer projects and was amazed by his talent. Mitchell recently taught Grandpa how to play Virtual Reality (VR) video games.
Lucas (Luke) McCleery is No. 4. Being the youngest grandson, his Grandpa held on to him even tighter than the rest. Grandpa traveled from Roswell to Fort Worth last fall to all but two of Luke’s football games – including his State Championship victory. Luke enjoyed summer trips with his grandparents and loved attending Family Camp. Luke is attending and playing football at the United States Military Academy at West Point.
Ray was a member of the First Church of Nazarene in Roswell, New Mexico. Ray was exceptionally active in his church. He taught Sunday School, served in various church leadership positions, and became the primary facility maintenance expert for the church. In addition, Ray was faithfully active in the missions aspect of the Church of the Nazarene. Over the course of his life he organized and participated in over 20 work and witness trips to help build facilities for missionaries on every continent with the exception of Antarctica. His last trip was in 2016. He also was extraordinarily active as a participant, and leader in the Roswell Camp of The Gideon’s International organization; placing and distributing thousands of Bibles to hotels, high school students, service members and New Mexicans from all walks of life.
Ray is survived by his spouse Fran of Roswell, New Mexico; his son CAPT Randal (Tania) Farley, USN (Ret) of San Diego, California; daughters Rhonda Farley of Watauga, Texas, Robyn (Greg) McCleery of Keller, Texas; sisters Barbara (Aaron) Carlson of Lake City, Iowa and Marcia (Paul) Wentworth of Loup City, Nebraska; his grandchildren LT Kevin Farley, USN of Hanford, California, Brian Farley of Lafayette, California, Mitchell McCleery of Keller, Texas, and Cadet Lucas McCleery, USMA West Point.
A memorial service will be held at the First Church of the Nazarene (501 N. Sycamore Ave.) in Roswell, New Mexico, at 10:30 a.m. on the 9th of September, 2017. Friends are encouraged to bring pictures of Ray to add to a display of remembrance.
In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations to be made to The Gideons International, Roswell Gideon Camp, P.O. Box 777 Roswell, New Mexico, 88202. Condolences may be left on Ray’s online guest book at http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/name/ramon-farley-obituary.