Circle of Life
This is our family’s story of our loved one, Raymond “Ray” Havlicak, and his legacy. Ray was born on Aug. 25, 1926 in Pocatello, ID, at the old Pocatello General Hospital and he died at home, in his own bed, wrapped in the arms of his loving family, in McCall, ID, at 12:10 a.m. Sunday morning, Sept. 6, 2020.
Ray was 94 years and 13 days old, celebrating his birthday on Aug. 25. Ray always said he was going to live to be 103 years old and we, his family, believed he would do so. (I guess God and Ray’s body knew different.)
Ray’s parents were Beulah Louise Householder Havlicak and Frank Havlicak of Rockland, and American Falls, ID. He had one brother, Lowell Havlicak, who was five years younger. Lowell died in March of 2008.
The family lived on the dryland wheat farm in Rockland Valley both summer and winter until Ray was seven years old. When his parents moved to American Falls, so he could attend school, he attended all 12 grades in American Falls, in 1945 he graduated from American Falls High School.
Ray started playing trumpet in high school and he has played the same trumpet and used the same mouthpiece for over 80 years. He has played taps for military funerals for over 70 years, continuing until Memorial Day weekend 2017.
He was an honorary member of the Rockland American Legion and McCall American Legion Post 119. Ray practiced his trumpet at least 30 to 40 minutes a day up until August 2019.
Ray played drums in a jazz band for many years. One day he played drums in a college assembly, and the pianist was Louie Wertz. Louis Wertz later became Roger Williams, famous for his Autumn Leaves recording.
Ray loved big band music and he, and the Havlicak boys, Ray, Lowell, Bob, Don Dallas and Duane, would often travel to Salt Lake to listen to big band music. Ray and his cousins loved to ski and often skied at Sun Valley. I remember the cousins saying a lift ticket was four dollars a day.
Ray graduated from Idaho State College (now Idaho State University) in 1951 with a degree in Business Administration.
Ray and Charlottie Briggs were married on March 30, 1952 at her parents’ home in Pocatello and they honeymooned in the big town of Salt Lake City, UT. It was a grand adventure.
They moved to the farm in Rockland Valley, ID, where they lived full time for 18 years, then, building a house in American Falls in the spring of 1970. They moved to the farm in the summer and then to town for the winter. They had three precious, beloved children, Charla Ray, Mark Raymond, and Sharon Kay.
Ray farmed with his dad, Frank, and his brother, Lowell, until Frank retired from farming, and Lowell sold his share of the farm. Then Ray continued to farm until his retirement from farming in 1986.
In the spring of 1994, Ray and Char came to Pilgrim Cove Camp on the Cove of Payette Lake in McCall, ID, to serve as camp managers. Our family has so many wonderful memories of those days at the camp. The grandkids thought they had their own resort.
In August of 1995 Charlottie was called to serve as minister at McCall Community Congregational UCC, and Ray joined with her in heart and soul in ministry of this warm and loving congregation.
Char serving as pastor and Ray serving in music ministry, singing in the church choir, and playing his trumpet (cornet) every Sunday for 23 years, until June 2018, when his health began to fail.
Ray was a beloved husband to Charlottie Briggs Havlicak for 68 years, was daddy, Papa, poppy, dad, to Charla Ray Havlicak, Mark Raymond Havlicak and Sharon Kay Havlicak Gowdy (David).
Grandpa, Pa gran, gramps, to nine grandchildren, Kristy Sparrow, (Cody), Shala Wilder, Jennifer Harris, Timothy Harris, (Brandie), Jared Harris, (Justina) Jaime Roads, (Greg), Ashley Havlicak, (Noah) Candice De Giulio, (Kory) and Dustin Mauch, (Rayette); and grandpa to 18 great-grandchildren and one great-great-granddaughter, Faith Rose.
Ray’s legacy is all those already listed, and his brother and sister-in-law, Edwin and Tena Briggs, sister-in-law, Barbara Young, and many nieces and nephews. One niece always called him Kunkle Ray.
Beloved ones. I do not want this story to seem dry, or cold, because Ray was one of a kind, kind, loving, gentle, honest, hard working, and because he was often quiet and simply smiled, and never talked much about himself. Many people never knew the real Ray.
Ray always told us he was going to live to be 103 like his dad and folks, I believed him. We all believed him. I think it was the only words he gave us, he could not keep.
Ray’s hobby was music. He practiced his trumpet every day. He never golfed because he was always working during the months for golf, but after coming here to McCall we have been a part of our group of friends, called the golf party folks for 18 years.
Ray and Char were members of the Rockland Congregational United Church of Christ and then the American Falls Congregational Church for over 40 years, until moving to McCall to continue on at the McCall Community Congregational United Church of Christ until Ray’s death.
And, so the story goes folks. I don’t like the end of this story, but so goes our life.
When we are young we are like the wheat Ray planted in the fall. It lays in the ground all winter, then in the spring it shoots up green stalks, then it ripens to a beautiful golden color, it heads full of life, it ripens and it is time to harvest and the circle of life is ready to begin again. Amen.
Ray’s Memorial Service will be Saturday, Sept. 26, at 1 p.m. at the McCall Community Congregational, UCC. Because, of the covid 19-virus the service will be family only.
Rev. Charlottie Havlicak, P.O. Box 1593, McCall, Idaho 83638. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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