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Memorial for Ray Hatley Bidwell

Born in Athens, Tennesee on Nov. 3, 1942
Departed on Feb. 26, 2019 and resided in Albany, Oregon.
 
Service: Saturday, Mar. 9, 2019
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Ray Bidwell
November 3, 1942 - February 26, 2019

Ray Bidwell passed away Tuesday, February 26th in his home surrounded by people who loved him. He was an amazing father, grandfather, brother, and friend and will be greatly missed.

Ray was born at Force hospital, in Athens, Tennessee. Parents were William (Bill) and Bonnie Hughes Bidwell. At 6 months of age the family moved to Albany, Oregon crammed to the gills in a Model A.

Ray was one of the first students to attend Sunrise Elementary, and later graduated from Albany Union High School in the class of 1960. He served his country in the Navy and returned home to work in the plywood mill which would later be called Southwest Forest Products. Ray attended Linn Benton Community College and Oregon State University majoring in Business, obtaining a degree in Accounting.

In 1969 Ray went to work at Albany Fire Department as a “Night Man“. He worked as a firefighter and played a part in forming the local ambulance service and paramedic program. In 1970 he became one of the first of seven Oregon State Certified E.M.T. Cardiovascular techs. Due to an injury he retired in 1992 .

Ray met Judy Burcham of Albany and the two were married in 1973. They were married for 43 years until her death in 2016.

In 1978 Ray and Judy started R&J Bidwell Trucking and ran the business until the year of 2000. After that he drove truck for Tri-West, Tradewinds and the George VanDyke Trucking until 2005. He really enjoyed seeing the country and visiting with people he met along the way.

Ray is survived by son Kelly and his wife Sue of Charleston South Carolina, daughter Mollee of Albany Oregon , daughter Jackie and her husband Tom Benzinger of Eureka California, daughter Liberty and son John of Albany. Ray was blessed with 7 grandchildren and two great grandsons. He was preceded in death by parents William, and Bonnie and Step Father Prois, his brothers John D. and A.L. Bidwell and his wife Judy.

His family is by the outpouring of love and humbled and honored thoughtfulness that has embraced them since Ray’s passing. His unfailing positive attitude towards life was inspiring and his warm smile was contagious.

A celebration of life will be held at the Albany Senior Center Saturday March 9th from 12:30-4 with military honors being given at 1pm
  

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