Ray was born on July 15, 1921, to John and Mabel Buckman in Sodus, Michigan. He enlisted in the US Army in 1941. Ray honorably served his county in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater in World War II in the signal corps taking charge of the communications responsibility for the group of islands under US Control.
Ray married Shirley J. Stemm in West Palm Beach, Florida, in 1942. They were married for 73 years.
After Ray was discharged from the US Army in 1945, he and Shirley raised a family in Sodus. Ray worked for Western Electric Telephone Company before changing careers as a 20+ year employee of Michigan Fruit Canners Association.
In 1966, Wyoming became home to Ray and Shirley after discovering the amazing hunting and fishing in Sundance. They packed up the 100-year-old family farm, headed west and purchased the Tastee Freeze that became their business for 13 years.
As 50-year residents of Crook County, Ray and Shirley became staples of the Sundance Community. Ray served as Mayor of Sundance, life member of the Rod & Gun Club and American Legion Post 45.
For 32 years, Ray worked for Range Telephone Association, serving as board member, vice president and president, Ray said that being a part of Range was “like being a part of a BIG FAMILY”.
Ray loved hunting, fishing, gardening and his family and friends. He was a member of the National Rifle Association, Sundance Masonic Lodge #9, Kalif Temple (Sheridan), 32-degree Scottish Rite, Inyan Kara Shrine Club and a life member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4311.
Ray is survived by his son, Don (Teri) Buckman and grandsons, Michael (Michelle) Swanson, Scott Swanson and Will Buckman; great-grandsons, Matthew and Blake Swanson; great-granddaughter, Maya Buckman-Rothaupt; and brother-in-law Gene (Peg) Stemm. He was preceded in death by his wife, Shirley; daughter, Judith; son, William John and grandson, Todd J. Buckman.
Graveside inurnment will take place at Black Hills National Cemetery on July 16, 2018 at 11 a.m.
Online condolences may be written at www.fidler-isburgfuneralchapels.com.