Ray Lee Creveling was born on May 8, 1926 to Floyd and Lela (Whitson) Creveling on a farm near Ellston, Iowa and passed away on March 6, 2010 at the Ringgold County Hospital in Mount Ayr, Iowa.
Lee, as he was known to his family and friends, attended school in Ellston and graduated from Ellston high school in 1943. While attending school, he met his best friend, Donella German, who later became his wife on August 30, 1944.
Lee and Donella made their home on a farm outside of Ellston and celebrated many joys in their 65 years of marriage. Among those joys were the births of their two sons, Ronald Lee in 1952 and Kevin K. in 1958. To support his growing family, Lee worked hard at expanding his farming operation. He was a steward of the land for his whole life and was active in agriculture until a few years ago when his health would no longer permit. Lee loved to grow crops and gardens and raise livestock. His favorite crop to grow was sweet corn for his grandkids to enjoy and sell to earn a little cash for their piggy banks.
For many years Lee also was a successful lamb buyer. He enjoyed traveling the countryside in numerous counties offering the best price for lambs. His friendly demeanor and fair business practices made him many lifelong friends and earned him a reputation as an honorable and respectable man.
Lee lived within a mile of Ellston his entire life and was well known around town. He rarely missed a day to stop in at Darlene’s and have a cup of coffee and chat with the locals or to buy one of his grandkids or another child from town a pop and candy bar. Lee devoted many hours of service to the town of Ellston. He was a township trustee for over 60 years, served on the Township Election Board for many years, helped to build the Ellston community building, helped to organize the Union Township Volunteer Fire Department and served for over 20 years on the fire department
Another joy later in Lee and Donella’s married life were the births of their seven grandchildren, Timothy Robert, Dara Kae, Cari Jo, Sarah Marie, Nathan Lee, Ray Lee and Shawna Christene. Lee relished the time he got to spend with his grandkids since they all lived within a mile of his home. Rarely would there be a time you saw him without the cab of his pickup or tractor full of grandkids. He spent hours teaching them the ways of farming and also enjoyed teaching them to drive tractors and pickups in the pasture.
One of the passions Lee developed at an early age was an ear for music and legs for dancing. He loved to sing, play music and dance. He was always up to an impromptu musical performance for his family and friends and never turned down an opportunity to swing Donella or one of his granddaughters around the dance floor.
Although Ellston was his home and his favorite place to be, as a pastime Lee enjoyed traveling the country and seeing new places and making new friends. He and Donella traveled to many places during their married life and enjoyed wintering in Las Vegas.
Those left to cherish Lee’s memory are wife Donella; sons Ronald (Denice) of Ellston, Iowa and Kevin (Deb) of Ellston, Iowa; sister Valiere Stewart of Avery, Iowa; brothers-in-law Jack Wilkey of Ellston, Iowa and Carl Davis of Thayer, Iowa; grandchildren Tim (fianc?? Jennifer) of Ellston, Iowa, Dara (Kim) Greenland of Mount Ayr, Iowa, Cari (David) Head of Kellerton, Iowa, Sarah (Willie) Roach of Truro, Iowa, Nathan (Wendy) of Ellston, Iowa, Shawna (fianc?? Nate) of Mount Ayr, Iowa and Cory (Jennifer) French of Rochester Hills, Michigan; great-grandchildren, Lucie Roach, Kelbey Greenland, Brooke French, Taylor French and Kelsey French, and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.
Lee will be welcomed into his heavenly home by his parents; sister Ailene Richards; sisters-in-law Marilyn Wilkey and Ruby Davis; brother-in-law Aden Stewart, and grandson Ray Lee Creveling.
Services were held at Watson-Armstrong Funeral Home in Mount Ayr on Wednesday, March 10, 2010, with Rev. Edward Shields officiating. Musicians were Mary Davenport, Margaret Bickers and Andy Trullinger.
Casket bearers included Tim Creveling, Nathan Creveling, Kim Greenland, David Head, Nate Head, Willie Roach and Cory French.
Memorials were established for Union Township Fire Department in Ellston and the Alzheimer’s Association.
Lee was laid at rest in the Ellston Cemetery, Ellston.