Raymond “Ray” Howard Christian

Raymond Howard Christian, great hunter and fisherman, homemade blackberry winemaker, and one of life’s true characters, died on January 21, 2016. He had a lifelong affair with hunting whitetail deer, elk, mallard ducks and crappie fishing. He would want you to know that he died as a result of being stubborn, refusing to follow doctors’ orders and living life to the fullest for more than six decades. He is affectionately remembered for telling you what a great friend you are while simultaneously ripping you for doing something stupid.

Raymond was born in Douglas County, Kansas on December 9, 1948 to Evelyn Hyle and George Christian. He is survived by his wife Anne, son Gary Christian of Lawrence, daughter Stacy Christian of Baldwin, two stepchildren: Katie Workman and Torin Van Nest, four grandsons Tyler Miller, Adam Christian, Branden Ousdahl and wife, Patti, and Reilly Ousdahl, two great grandchildren: Layla Ousdahl and Kayden Workman, one brother, James Christian (m. Tina Christian), three sisters: Shirley Patterson (m. Joe Patterson), Janet Means (m. Jim Means), and Connie Flory (m. Murray Flory), and many friends. His parents and one brother, Vern (m. JoAnne Christian), preceded him in death.

Ray excelled at growing very hot peppers for use in his homemade Bloody Mary mix, constructing commercial concrete flatwork for over 30 years, mowing 20 acres of land throughout the summer, never missing the first day of crappie season, making friends, and never letting you forget you were his most important friend.

Ray always had a story to tell. In one such story, he took “the two Docs” (who looked like they stepped out of the Cabela’s catalog) duck hunting at his blind. Ray provided them with fruit nourishment, called in the ducks for them, let them shoot to their hearts content and then shot the ducks for them since they couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn. Many of his stories that included Great White Hunter Lawson, Dead Eye Dick, Caughin’ Missouri Dave, Law Dog and son Gary need to stay in the hunting camp, but they did include stupidity such as picking up a paper wasp nest in the middle of winter, pulling a live shark onto the boat, falling flat on his back getting out of the truck, and having a deer come back to life in the brand new Suburban. (Details are best left to your imagination.) He also loved the great game of golf and trips taken with (ret.) General Rose and the (ret.) Brigadier General Rose from the Army National Guard.

One thing you could count on with Ray was his love of helping out his family, especially his grandsons, such as spending a day doing electrical work around the house with Branden, and advising and seeing Adam turn into the next “Red Eye Ray”–the great hunter–as he bagged his first deer this season. He had great pride in the accomplishments of Tyler “The Rut,” and Reilly, who are destined to do great things.

To honor his absurd desire that his family would throw him a funeral where everyone would be crying, a private service will be held at a later date. A memorial visitation will be held at Warren-McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence, 120 W 13th Street, Lawrence, KS. Saturday, January 30, 2016 from 2pm – 4pm.

Memorial contributions may be made in his name to the Ray Christian Memorial Fund and may be sent in care of the mortuary.

6 Condolences

  1. Wendell and Marsha Pohl on January 23, 2016 at 6:26 am

    We were sorry to hear of Raymond’s passing.

  2. Dorothy Drum Pritchard on January 23, 2016 at 8:21 am

    I remember Raymond as the cutest little 3 or 4 year old-ornery as could be. From reading his obituary, it looks like he continued his entire life in the same way.

    So sorry to read of his passing. Love all you guys!!!!!


  3. Colonel Joe Rose, ret. on January 23, 2016 at 8:22 pm

    How does one say what you want to say when something like to loss of a true friend passes. Ray was one of a kind. Ray was my friend. I’m not talking about a buddy or aquantance, I am talking about a real friend. I kind of thought of Ray like a blood brother. We liked many of the same things, and saw things through the same eye. We had a bond that is shared only with those who have a special place in your heart. I cannot tell you how saddend I am that my friend has passed and I wasn’t there for him. My sorrow runs deep. Typing this is hard, tears flow for our loss, because we have all lost a great man. I once heard that we live forever when after we are gone if the memory of what a person accomplished and the contribution made makes a difference in the lives of those we leave behind. Ray was one of a kind. Ray was my friend and I loved him. I loved him because he was the kind of man I can only strive to be. Compassion, honesty, friendship and loyalty were his strengths. God has a special place for guys like Ray. I pray I can measure up and see my friend again some day.

  4. Deanie Hayes, O'Connell Youth Ranch on January 24, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    I am so sad to hear of Ray’s passing. He was a special friend to O’Connell Youth Ranch. His heart was as big as the outdoors he loved so much! He not only helped us through donating concrete work, but allowed OYR to share office space in two locations. He was always ready to lend a helping hand! Rest in Peace Mr. C.

  5. Kyle and Cheryl Kunard on January 26, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    For our dear friend Stacy – Please know that many people are holding you up in prayer while you face the saddness and grief of the passing of your dad. We know how very dear he was to you. – Cheryl, Kyle and Rosie

  6. Tammy Lathrom on January 26, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    His obit was a true rendition of his crazy and cantankerous life. He will be greatly missed. God’s speed Ray, I hope I get to see you one of these days and drink some homemade wine with you again. Much love, Tammy

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