Raymond E. Aldridge
(January 1, 1926 - April 10, 2017)
Raymond Edmund Aldridge was born to Clarence and Katherine (Moores) Aldridge on January 1, 1926. He joined older brothers Virgil and Marvin and sister Iva on the farm northeast of Ashland, KS. He passed away April 10, 2017 at Greeley County Hospital in Tribune, KS. He was 91 years old. He had a full, loving, successful life but was very ready to move on.
Ray spent his youth doing what farm kids did. He attended elementary and Junior High School in Sitka, KS and then went into Ashland for High School. He attended there through the 10th grade. He then started working with his dad, brother Virgil and for a few months at Boeing Aircraft in Wichita, KS. Somewhere after high school he learned to fly and held a private pilot's license until the 1980's. Most of his youthful follies involved airplanes.
In 1943 Ray joined his brother Virgil full time in his custom farming and harvesting business, working in Kansas and Eastern Colorado. In 1946 Virgil and his wife bought a farm north of Sheridan Lake, CO and Ray worked with him there. Virgil passed away at age 36 in 1949. Ray stayed on this farm until Virgil's widow sold in the farm.
Ray joined the Air Force in 1951. He spent his time in the military in Korea repairing heavy machinery. He was discharged in late 1953.
On April 23, 1953, Raymond married Pauline Zimmerman Aldridge and joined her family of 4 boys, Rich, Don, Bob, and Jerry. After Ray's discharge from the military the new family moved to Cheyenne Wells where Ray worked at Gerwick Motors, running the body shop.
Also in 1953 Raymond came to know Jesus, placing his faith and salvation in Jesus alone. Although Raymond's faith was a very private thing to him, he made sure his family was involved in church and exposed to the truth.
In 1956 the family moved to a farm east of Arapahoe, CO, that Pauline's father had purchased for taxes. For a few years Ray continued to work in Cheyenne Wells as well as work the farm. Also in 1956, Ray took a big risk and drilled the third irrigation well in Cheyenne County, and farming was forever different. They subsequently purchased this farm from Grandpa Zimmerman.
In 1957, Ray and Pauline added a daughter to their family, Paula Rae.
The next years were spent developing more irrigation, adding more land, diversifying crops planted - corn, sugar beets, wheat, milo, finally settling on mostly corn and wheat. Also building and operating a cattle feed lot.
Ray was on the church board of Elders and Deacons at the Christian Church in Cheyenne Wells for many years. He also served on KC Electric Board of Directors as well.
Ray and Pauline loved to travel, once they had opportunity to do a lot of it. They spent many winters in Arizona, making great new friends, but always returning home in time to help with the Spring and Summer farm work.
Ray is preceded in death by his parents, 2 brothers, 1 sister, and wife Pauline of 52 years. He is survived by sons, Richard of Sharon Springs, Donald (wife Sharon) of Arapahoe, CO, Robert (wife Margaret) of Weskan, KS, Virgil Jerome (wife Karen) of Hill City, KS, daughter Paula Parker (husband Kipp) of Limon, CO, 19 grandchildren, 38 great grandchildren, and 14 great great grandchildren.
In Ray's later years he became more open to share his faith and requested "The Old Rugged Cross" to be sung at his funeral as his favorite song ever. He explained that his name was written in the Lamb's Book of Life!
Funeral services for Raymond Edmund Aldridge were held at 11:00 a.m. at the Risen King Community Church in Weskan, Kansas. Burial followed at the Arapahoe Cemetery. Funeral arrangements were under the direction of Brown Funeral Home.