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.