John E. Ray, 72, Woodstock, died Thursday Dec. 4, 2014, at Advocate Sherman Hospital, Elgin.
He was born Aug. 18, 1942, to Lawton and Maude (Herrin) Ray in Aiken, South Carolina.
On Oct. 8, 1966, he married Judy Nastav.
He served in the U.S. Army.
He designed pumps that were used by NASA on the International Space Station and he received two mission patches for his work in the space program. He enjoyed restoring old cars and was a member of the Pontiac Club. In his youth, he played Minor League baseball. He was a founding member of the Tri City Little League and he always looked forward to attending his grandchildren’s sporting events.
Survivors include: his wife; a son, Brian (Krista) Ray; two daughters, Tina (David) Coalson and Debbie (Keith) Kirchhardt; four grandchildren, Kollin and Jordan Kirchhardt , Marshall Coalson and Carter Ray Coalson; a brother, Carroll (Janet) Ray; his beloved aunt, Gertrude Cooper; two nephews, Matt (Melissa) Lazinski and Mike (Amanda) Lazinski; and six more nephews and three nieces.
He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Martha Ann Feldbusch.
The visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014, at Schneider-Leucht-Merwin & Cooney Funeral Home. A celebration of his life will begin at 7 p.m. The funeral mass will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 10, at Resurrection Catholic Church, Woodstock. Interment will be private.