Raymond Jay Neill Jr (Ray), 78 of Battle Creek, MI passed away on Saturday January 13th, 2024 from complications due to dementia.
Ray was born on July 11th, 1945 in Hillsdale, Michigan. Ray served in the US Army from 1965 to 1968. He served one tour of duty in Vietnam. He was with the 101st Airborne Screaming Eagles and Special Forces. He completed parachute training at the Quartermaster School.
Ray was an accomplished driver. He was with Greyhound Bus Lines where he was a driver as well a trainer. He was an over the road trucker before retiring.
Ray enjoyed fishing, playing horseshoes, bowling and spending time with his family. Ray had several dogs in his lifetime which brought him great joy.
Ray was a man of faith and of strong character. He loved his family and friends dearly, and was there for anyone who needed his help. He was greatly admired by all who knew him. He will be dearly missed.
Ray was preceded in death by his father Raymond Jay Sr., mother Evangeline Marie (Wood) and his former wife of 38 years Kathleen (Simkins).
Ray is survived by his wife Aleta (McKinney), daughter Carolyn (Chris) Marranca, son Raymond (Jennifer) Neill, grandchildren Trent Gunyan and Rebecca Neill, siblings Sharon (Randolph) Bricker, Lowell Neill, Francis Neill, Gloria (Ronald) Loyd, Christine (Thomas) Sorice, Linda Klimas, Cindy (James) Fontana, step-children Laura (Phil) Hatfield, Kelly (Ken) Sims, step-grandchildren, step-great-grandchildren and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
It was Ray's wish to be cremated, and services will be held at a later date at Fort Custer National Cemetery in Battle Creek.
Donations in Ray's memory can be made to the Humane Society of South Central Michigan
2500 Watkins Rd Battle Creek, MI 49015 and Alzheimer's Foundation of America (alzfdn.org)
Ray touched the lives of everyone who knew him. He was protective and caring of his family. He was a morally decent man with a strong faith in God. He was very proud of his children, and raised them to be good decent people. He was a man's man, tough with a heart of gold. His loss is a hole that can never be filled.