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He was born January 22, 1931 in Bath, NY to Samuel and Miriam Steele Wilkes. Ray married Marcia Traver on June 27, 1953 and she preceded him in death on January 5, 2017.
A veteran of the U.S. Air Force during the Korean Conflict, he was a graduate of Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. He was an engineer for John Deere for 29 years, retiring in 1985.
Ray was a member of First Presbyterian Church where he served as an Elder. He was a member of Experimental Aircraft Association, No-Tow Bagos and American Society of Agricultural Engineers.
Ray is survived by his daughter, Linda Kay of Virginia Beach, VA; his son, Steven (Elizabeth) Wilkes of Wichita, KS; 4 grandchildren, Kaitlin (Rick) Shanley, Connor Kiburz, Margaret Wilkes and Sara Wilkes.
He was preceded in death by a brother, James Wilkes and a sister, Mary Angel.
His body has been cremated.
Memorial services will be 10 a.m. Friday, May 31, 2019 at Reece Funeral Home with Pastor Bill Hornback officiating. Inurnment will be in Ottumwa Cemetery with military services conducted by Walter B. Schafer Post #775 Veterans of Foreign Wars and O.B. Nelson Post #3 American Legion.
Family visitation will be from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday May 30, 2019 at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to First Presbyterian Church.
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