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Francis "Ray" Poppleton GunnellMay 5, 1929 ~ September 18, 2017 (age 88)
Click below to listen to the funeral service. Available until December 22, 2017.
We celebrate the life of Francis “Ray” Poppleton Gunnell born in Wellsville, Utah, on May 5, 1929. Ray was the youngest of seven children born to Preston Baxter Gunnell and Evelyn Mitton Poppleton. Ray was very close to his siblings: Evelyn, Preston, Parley, Jane, Verlan and Laura Lee. He also had three nieces Vivian, Helen and Joy who joined the family and were raised as sisters. Growing up in the Great Depression instilled a strong work ethic and Dad would get up at 5 a.m. to milk his uncle’s 13 cows even though it would sometimes get as cold as -20 degrees F. He also thinned many long rows of sugar beets for 5 cents a row. He enjoyed hunting and fishing with his brothers and participated in many sports: softball, boxing, running and football. He joined the army after attending South Cache High and was sent to Korea. Ray and his brothers all served our country well during WWII and the Korean War.
After returning from Korea, Ray met and married Ireta Nova Stewart in the Salt Lake Temple. They had 6 children: Linda “Suzanne”, Joel Ray, Karen Ann, Debra Kay, Bryan “Paul”, and Robert Stewart. Ray was an accomplished fast pitch softball pitcher and played most of his life. Our family spent many enjoyable nights at softball games. Ray enjoyed competing on the Valley View 5th Ward team and going to the All Church Tournament was a highlight. Family activities also included bowling, miniature golf, regular golf, playing games and taking many fun family vacations. Dad served faithfully in the LDS church as a stake missionary and in the Sunday School which he loved. Dad worked hard all his life to be successful in supporting his family. He loved being a salesman and started his own electronic wholesale business, Ra-ElCo. Ray eventually married Verda Reese. Ray and Verda loved to travel and spend time with Verda’s two daughters, Janice and Barbara, and grandchildren and great grandchildren. They were sealed in the temple and served faithfully on a 3-year Service Mission for the LDS Church. Ray was called to be Stake Sports Director and loved this calling, serving enthusiastically. Ray is preceded in death by his parents, brothers and sisters, his son Joel, his daughter Debra, and his wife Verda. He is survived by daughters Suzanne and Karen, and sons Paul and Robert and stepdaughters Janice and Barbara, along with many grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. We already miss your warm smile, incredible positive attitude and cheerfulness even while dealing with the serious afflictions of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. When we would visit you Dad you always lifted our spirits with your smile, laugh, and stories. We love you and will miss you and look forward to the time when we will meet again.
Ray passed away on Monday, September 18, 2017 peacefully in his sleep at Beehive Homes in Orem. His viewing will be held on Friday, September 22, 2017, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Holbrook Mortuary located on 3251 South 2300 East, Salt Lake City, UT. His funeral will be held Saturday, September 23, at the LDS Chapel located on 2125 Evergreen Avenue (3435 South) beginning at 11:00 a.m. with a viewing prior at 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. His interment will be at Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park, (mausoleum) 3401 South Highland Drive, Salt Lake City, UT. We wish to express our sincere thanks to Beehive Home in Orem where Ray received such excellent care these last 7 years. Also, our thanks to Brighton Hospice for their excellent end of life care.
The family in lieu of flowers would invite you to go on line to JustServe.org and make a contribution of either time or money.