Raymond James Zumwalt, 98, died peacefully and on his own terms at the home he built, Nov. 22, 2014, tended by his great-grandson, Chance Fluke; his niece, Linda Sonnen; and faithful friend, Fred Smith. He was born the fourth of five boys on June 16, 1916, to Albert Lee and Carrie Ann (Girton) Zumwalt at the Zumwalt homestead near Grangeville.
After spending his younger years working the family farm, Ray ventured off to the zinc and silver mines of infamous Wallace, Idaho, where he labored as a raucous, beer-brewing miner for 17 years, all the while working his own leased mines on the side. He married Edna Joslin. After three children, and a painful divorce, he retreated to the prairies of Grangeville to manage the H & H, a corporate farm, with his second wife, Irma Glover, and her six children by a previous marriage for nearly 40 years. Always industrious he ran his own small cow operation down off Mt. Idaho Grade, once even “retiring” to run his own small construction company awhile before the H & H lured him back.
Ever active, when Ray wasn’t working dawn to dusk, inventing something to solve a problem, or pulling someone’s leg, he along with wife, Irma, bowled, fished and canned Kokanee salmon, grew and canned large vegetable gardens, along with any fruit they could gather. At 80, Ray last logged his rural property, built fences, did projects and hauled and chopped his own firewood into his 90s.
Ray is survived by a son, Gerald Zumwalt and his children by late wife, Cheryl: Michael, Misty and Jerry Zumwalt; the children of his deceased daughter, Carrie Ann Zumwalt: Arlene Jacovelli, Daniel Lewis, Karina Lewis and Vonn Lewis; their numerous children and grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews from his deceased brothers, and numerous beloved grand and great-grandchildren both biological and step.
Ray was preceded in death by his wife, Irma; both parents; his four brothers; grandparents; aunts; uncles; a son, Michael Zumwalt; and his only daughter, Carrie Ann Zumwalt.
According to his wishes he was cremated at Blackmer Funeral Home. Memorial services will be held at The Church of the Nazarene, Saturday, Feb. 7, at 2 p.m. with a reception following on-site.
Ray’s executor and grandson, Daniel Lewis, is hopeful that family or friends with pictures, funny stories, or fond memories will please forward them to his sister, Ray’s granddaughter, email@example.com for inclusion in the memorial service and family history books.
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