Raymond F. “Ray” Cooley, 79, a longtime resident of Francesville, IN died Sunday, June 5, 2022 at Parkview Haven Nursing Home in Francesville. Ray was born on January 26, 1943 in Francesville to the late Floyd M. and Jeannette M. [LaRose] Cooley. Both of his parents died in 1991. Ray attended Francesville Elementary School and graduated from Francesville High School in 1961. He attended Purdue University for two years and earned an associate degree in engineering technique and design. Ray began his nearly 30 year career at Monon Trailer working in the manufacturing plant producing parts for their flatbed line. He was quickly promoted to day shift supervisor for manufacturing. In the 1970s Ray was promoted to Manufacturing Manager and was responsible for all three shifts, until his retirement in May 1991. Ray continued in this area when he started working for Ezra Welding & Metal Fabrication where they made parts for Model T and Ertyl automobiles. Toys before launching their own line of toy trucks and construction items. Ray excelled in metal toy making and was known to design and build many of his own pieces. Never idle, Ray has worked for various companies in Francesville over the years, including agriculture, plumbing and heating, electrical, and construction. Most recently, he worked for Clear Decision Filtration, where we jokingly said he worked “part-time, seven days a week.” One of Ray’s most visible hobbies was building and owning Modified Midget and Mini Sprint race cars. Ray was the East V-Pres. in the NMMA from 1977 to 1984. He was a championship car owner with the NMMA in 1995, and also AMSA Sprint Division with Mike Neher as driver for over 30 years. Ray was a member of the Francesville Volunteer Fire Department for 50 years and was instrumental in the design and construction of the kitchen when it was built. He was very loyal to the town of Francesville, organizing the town’s day parade for 50 years. He retired in 2019. He recently received the Milestone Chevron Award for 25 years of service to Lions Club International. He was also a member of the Midwest Oldtimers Vintage Race Car Club, Lafayette Corvette Club, and Pontiac-Oakland Auto Club. In addition to his parents, Ray was predeceased by a younger sister, Rita Lynn. He is survived by one sister, Karen Cooley Bollhoefer of Francesville. Private burial services will be held at Highland Cemetery in North Judson, IN. We honor Ray’s wish because he always said, “I don’t want the fire engines blocking the streets because of me.” Private interment will be at Highland Cemetery in North Judson, IN. In lieu of food, flowers, and gifts, please make memorial contributions to the American Cancer Society or the American Heart Association. Cremation arrangements have been entrusted to Frain Mortuary Querry-Ulbricht Chapel in Francesville.
Posted on June 14, 2022
Posted in Diary & Mail