Raymond H Denault

November 23, 1934 - September 1, 2013
Knoxville, TN



Sunday, September 8, 2013
2:00 PM to 7:00 PM CDT
Schreffler Funeral Homes
Kankakee Location
1900 W. Court St.
Kankakee, IL 60901
(815) 932-2421
Driving Directions

Monday, September 9, 2013
9:00 AM to 10:00 AM CDT
River Valley Christian Fellowship
800 Cardinal Dr
Bradley, IL 60915


Monday, September 9, 2013
10:00 AM CDT
River Valley Christian Fellowship
800 Cardinal Dr
Bradley, IL 60915


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

River Valley Christian Fellowship
800 Cardinal Dr.
Bradley, IL 60915
(815) 933-7353

Family's Wishes

Plese make check payable to Norma Denault and forward to Schreffler Life Story Funeral Home, 1900 W. Court St., Kankakee, IL 60901 or call 81-932-2

Life Story / Obituary


Throughout his long and fruitful journey, Raymond Denault made a significant impact in the lives of those around him. He was known for his musical and athletic talents to be sure, but it will be his unending love for his family and friends that will be his lasting legacy. Ray was blessed to share much of his journey with Norma, the love of his life. Ray created a brilliant mosaic of memories that will remain lasting treasures in the hearts and lives of those who knew him.

A young couple from Herscher, Illinois, was filled with unspeakable joy as they welcomed their sixth child into their hearts and home on November 23, 1934. Raymond was one of 10 children born to his parents, Alfred and Rosalie Denault. He was raised in the family home alongside his 9 siblings Emile, Geraldine, Donald, Jerome, Delores, Willard, Vernon, Jo Ann and Maynard. In 1945 the Denault family endured a devastating house fire that claimed the life of Ray’s 4-year old sister, Jo Ann.

In many ways Ray experienced a childhood that was fairly typical for the youth of his generation. As was common for young people of this day, he left school after the tenth grade to work so that he was able to help support the family.

Not to be forgotten during his years as a young man was Ray’s blossoming romance with Norma Brinkman, the woman of his dreams. After six short weeks of dating they found themselves deeply in love. Ray asked Norma to be his bride and they married four months later at St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church in Kankakee on September 17, 1955. In 1957 they were blessed with the birth of twin girls, Cheryl and Caryl. Four years later, Jolynn “Jody” completed this family of five. Later in life grandchildren and great-grandchildren were the light of his life. Ray and Norma shared their lives for almost 58 wonderful years.

To support his family, Ray worked hard. The majority of his career was spent at Conrail Railroad where he worked his way up to assistant train master. After undergoing a fifth back surgery, Ray was left with no choice but to retire. It was shortly thereafter that he and Norma moved to Tennessee where they remained for the rest of Ray’s life.

For many years Ray was the best softball pitcher in the area, playing for teams such as the First Methodist Church and Kankakee Kardinals. When he could no longer pitch, umpiring softball in church leagues and Bradley Bourbonnais Little League allowed him to stay involved in sports which he loved so much. He also loved bowling and at one time, four of the Denault brothers bowled on one team.

Even though he could not read a note of music Ray was also a talented musician. For a time he regularly played instruments such as the accordion, harmonica, and guitar in addition to singing at local nursing homes in both Kankakee and Tennessee. Ray regularly attended the Southern Gospel Quartet Convention and shared his love of Southern gospel music attending every concert within driving distance and singing the songs he loved so much. When you enter his services on Sunday night, you will hear Ray singing in the background. Before retiring to Tennessee, Ray was an active member of River Valley Christian Fellowship.

Even though he accomplished so many things to be proud of, Raymond H. Denault was a humble man who shared his love for the Lord and loved his family and vast amount of friends. Ray knew no strangers. Our days will never be the same without Ray here, but the timeless life lessons that he leaves behind will be proudly carried on by those who follow him.

Raymond H. Denault, of Knoxville, TN, formerly of Bourbonnais, IL, died on Sunday, September 1, 2013, at Advocate Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, IL after a serious car accident on their way home for Norma’s 60th high school class reunion. Ray is survived by his wife, Norma of Knoxville, TN; daughters, Cheryl (Ron) DeLude of Charleston, IL; Caryl (James) Brooke of Warsaw, IN; and Jolynn “Jody” (Gary) Swearingen of Gifford, IL; 5 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren; 4 brothers, Emile (Betty) Denault of Bradley, IL; Jerome (Kitch) Denault of Bourbonnais, IL; Vernon (Darliene) Denault of Bradley, IL; Maynard (Barbara) Denault of Kankakee, IL; 2 sisters, Delores (Dick) Fitch of Herscher, IL and Geraldine Tobenski of Irwin, IL; 1 sister-in-law, Bernadette Denault of Kankakee, IL; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. He is preceded in death by his parents, brothers Donald and Willard, and a sister Jo Ann.

A time of gathering will be on Sunday, September 8, 2013, from 2-7 p.m. at Schreffler Life Story Funeral Homes Kankakee Chapel and on Monday, September 9, 2013, from 9 a.m. until the time of service at 10 a.m. at River Valley Christian Fellowship in Bradley, IL. Interment will follow at Kankakee Memorial Gardens in Kankakee, IL. In lieu of flowers, memorials to River Valley Christian Fellowship or to the family’s wishes would be appreciated. To share a memory, upload a photo, or to sign Ray’s guestbook please visit www.schrefflerfuneralhome.com.