Nov 24, 2038 – Feb 04, 2010
Raymond Lewis Venator, 71 of Mineral, VA passed away Thursday, February 4, 2010 in Kill Devil Hills, N.C. Mr. Venator was born in Ottumwa, Iowa to the late Russell F. and Frances Wood Venator. He was a Retired Major with the US Marine Corp, having served 37 years in military service; he was a State Farm agent for 30 years. He had been active in Rotary Club since July 1980 and served as District Governor for District 7610 in 1995 – 1996. He had been active in various community services such as LACA, Board of Directors for Tanyard Country Club; Springfield American Legion Post 176.
Survivors include his wife of 48 years, Cleta Venator, a son Timothy Blaine Venator, of Kill Devil Hills, NC; a daughter Lisa Ann Merchant and her husband Sonny of Gloucester, VA.; two grandchildren; Bethany Michelle Merchant, and Caroline Marie Merchant, a brother, Charles Robert Venator and his wife Ana of Qito, Ecuador and their children, Robert Charles Santiago-Venator, Katia Santiago, and Michelle Venator; a sister, Barbara Sah and her husband Matthew of Sandy Oregon; and their children, Jenny Leoung, Amy Cody, and Mark Sah; a sister-in-law, Carol Pitz of Evanston, IL; other aunts, uncles, great nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held 11:00 A.M. Tuesday, February 9th at Woodward Funeral Home Chapel, Louisa, VA, officiated by Rev. Robert Haley. The family will receive friends from 6 – 8 P.M. Monday, February 8th at Woodward Funeral Home. Burial will be at 3:00 p.m. March 9, 2010 in Arlington National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made in Ray’s name to: The Rotary International, c/o Curtis Moore, Louisa City Rotary Club, 135 Randolph St. Mineral, VA 23117.
Ray is my cousin and ,I only seen him a couple of times but I will remember him for the being a caring guy .
There are some things in Life that are hard to understand-This is a very sad time for Jean & I–
Ray is a cousin of mine. When I think of Ray, the words gentle, kind and hero come to mind. There were 36 first cousins. Ray was the oldest of the male cousins and always the biggest boy in the physical sense. So we all looked up to him. He could have been a bully toward us, but he was just the opposite. In the Ottumwa, Iowa school system, Ray was the ‘big man on campus.’ He was a leader in student council, often the president of his class, and a starter on athletic teams. As the younger cousin, I was always proud to tell that Ray was my relative. Years later, Ray and Cleta were gracious hosts to me and my family during visits to the DC area. The last recollections I had of Ray were the same as my first. He was simply a very good person.
Cleta and family, I am so sorry to hear of Ray`s death. I just want to say the he was the greatest, kindest most gentle gentleman I have known. We were on the Student Council together in high school. Wish I had also known him as a grown up” but I am sure his characture didn`t change. Knowing he was a Rotarian makes me feel some connection as both my husband and I also are Rotarians. My thoughts and prayers are with you.”
Cleta, Lisa and Tim,We are so sorry for your loss. We/I have so many great memories with Uncle Ray- he was kind, thoughtful and fun to be around. I don`t know if I would have braved going to college across the country if Ray had not been there.Throughout my life I will be reminded of him when I see the ocean, read about the Marines or walk into a Cracker Barrel.I`m sorry my flight was canceled but I hope to make it to Arlington.Love, Mark, Bethany, Ethan, Acadia, Luke and Galilee Sah
Sorry to hear of your loss. I was in Ottumwa Sat, and saw the announcement. Hope all is going well with you three.
Cleta, You know I think Ray is the best! I cant believe it was 1982 when he hired me..I could not even type!! We drove Lisa nuts talking politics…hahah Loved working for him, he was more than a boss..you are like family to me. I am so sad..and I hope I can make it down there, but if not, I will be at Arlington. Ed, Scott and I send our love and of course as so sad to think we have lost Ray..way, way too soon..Love, Laurie, Ed and Scott Shoemaker
Cleta:Denise and I want to extend our deepest sympathy to you and your family on the loss of Ray. Ray was one of the first agents who was there to assit me when I became an agent. His professionalism and friendship were always special. We`re going to try and get down there, but due to the weather we`re snowed in right now. If we can`t make it please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.Sincerely,Bob & Denise Vernola
Cleta,We are so very sorry for your loss. The absence of Ray`s familiar face will be a loss for our community and the county, where you both spent much time volunteering.Please let us know if you need help with anything.Brenda & Buddy
This is one last farewell. I will forever miss you.Love Bob
We will miss Ray, one of our family members at Overton Fork.Peace be with him and his family.Dick and Jo Ann438 Overton Drive
Dear Cleta and family;Ray has been a friend of mine since we were in junior high at Evans in Ottumwa as is his brother Bob. As we graduated and moved to our various different areas of the country, it really made no difference how far apart we were, our friendships never varied. And when we returned to Ottumwa for our High School reunions it was just like old times” again. Every day the fond memories we have seem to become more dear to each of us especially as we all grow older.Cleta in this time of your sorrow don`t forget our sympathy is with you and your family. Sincerly Lyle and Barb Brumley”
My deepest sympathy goes out to the family of Ray. May my thoughs and prayers be with you.L.J. MoyerDistrict Vocational DirectorCaroline Rotary Club
I am indeed sorry to hear of the passing of Raymond. On behalf of my family, please accept our condolences. As CTE Advisory Council Chairperson, Raymond was a great contributor to the on going work of providing an appropriate education for Louisa County`s youth whether college bound or not.We will certainly miss his expertise and genuine concern for the students and the CTE program.Sorrowfully,Larry E. Lewis
Dear Cleta, Lisa, and Tim, Magdalene and I wish that we could be there to support you in this day, but weather has made it difficult to travel.I still carry the pocket knife that my uncle Ray gave me more than 30 years ago and I look forward to passing it on to a future member of our family. Since I was a kid, uncle Ray was a sort of figure larger than life. Over the years I came to realize that uncle Ray was always a constant pillar, with a funny sort of wit. I am glad that I share some pleasant moments with all of you last summer, and I will cherish this memory forever. Please know that we will miss uncle Ray and his memory will always be a constant presence in our life.Love Always, Robert & Magdalene
On behalf of the CTE Advisory Council of Louisa County Public School, our deepest sympathy goes out to the family of Ray Venator. Our thoughts and prayer are with you. He will be truly missed. Susan PleasantsSecretary, Career & Technical EducationLouisa County Publc Schools
Dear Cleta, Timothy, Lisa, Sonny and your families. We are so saddened for your loss of Ray. We remember Ray with great affection and admiration. Ray was a good friend and outstanding counselor to us in insurance matters. We send you our heartfelt prayers and sympathy.
Ray will be missed by all of his friends in the Agents Association.
We wish extend our sympathy over your loss. You will be in our hearts and prayers during this sad time. We are in Florida this winter and deeply regret we will not be able to attend Ray`s Memorial or Service at Arlington. I always enjoyed visiting with Ray and appreciate his service to our country and to his community and for being a great supporter of our local agent`s association. May God bless you and keep you and bring a special comfort in this time of grief.
Cleta we just heard about the dead of Raymond, we are very sorry, as soon as we arrive to the Lake we will call you.We are in Costa Rica.Thinking about you.LoveTommy & Oliva
Cleta,Janine and I were just talking the other day about the warmth, generosity, and kindness you and Ray extended to us during our time in Virginia. I am deeply saddened to hear Ray is no longer with us. I always enjoyed stopping by the office to see and chat with you and Ray. Though our relationship was professional, I always felt a warm, personal connection with both of you. Our prayers are with you and your family… may God continue to bless and keep you.Brian and Janine Peacher.