Cover photo for Ray A. Stelzer's Obituary
1942 Ray 2017

Ray A. Stelzer

August 18, 1942 — April 20, 2017

Ray passed away peacefully on Thursday, April 20, 2017, at the age of 74 years old. Ray took a fall at his workplace which resulted in complications due to a broken neck. He passed while receiving excellent care in the Trauma ICU at Emmanuel Hospital, in Portland, Oregon.

Ray was born on August 18,1942, to Reynold James and Helen Stelzer in Chicago, Illinois. The Stelzer family moved to Portland when Ray was four years old. The family decided to move to the west coast after Ray’s father experienced the mountains while attending boot camp in Tacoma, Washington. His mother wanted to move to California, so they split the middle and decided on Portland, Oregon. The family built a home in the Mill Park neighborhood in SE Portland, where Ray grew up. He graduated from David Douglas High School in 1960, and completed one and a half years at Portland State University.

During the 1960’s, Ray purchased a sailboat and decided to sail from Portland to Honolulu with a friend. When he landed in Honolulu, he lived on his sailboat and worked for Coca-Cola. He returned to Portland in 1969, and met his wife Sarah, through mutual friends. They wed on December 18, 1970, at the Vancouver County Courthouse, and enjoyed 46 years of marriage.

Over the years, Ray worked at Omark Industries; Oregon Tire Distributors; Coast Marine Construction; Lasco Shipping, and for the past 14 years, at Schnitzer Steel.

Ray enjoyed the great outdoors, especially hunting, fishing, and camping. He was an avid sports fan, rooting for his beloved Green Bay Packers and Portland Trailblazers. He enjoyed walks in the neighborhood with Little (the family dog), and watching the history channel on TV. He also enjoyed volunteering at Camp Lutherwood, where his daughter Charlotte works during summers. Ray fought and beat prostate cancer for 17 years, working the entire time, most of those years actively on chemo therapy. He had a very strong work ethic, and really enjoyed his job as a clerk at Schnitzer Steel.

Ray is survived by his wife, Sarah Stelzer; daughters, Catherine and Charlotte Stelzer; siblings, James Stelzer, Marlene Fox, and David Stelzer; many nieces and nephews; dog, Little; and his second family at Schnitzer Steel.

Funeral services will take place on Saturday, April 29, 2017, at 10:30am, at Rose City Cemetery and Funeral Home (5625 NE Fremont St, Portland, OR 97213). In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation in his name to Camp Lutherwood ( http://lutherwoodoregon.org/give/ ), The Chuck Ford PCC college fund (  https://www.pcc.edu/foundation/ways-to-give/donate.html  Designation: Other; In the blank box designate: Schnitzer/Chuck Ford ), or charity of your choice.


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