Lethaniel Ray, Jr., was born at Ft. Lewis Army Base (WA) on January 26, 1956, and died in Tacoma, WA, on June 28, 2022. Lethaniel is survived by his wife, Jacqueline Ray; his children, Alocasia Ellison (Alby Allen),  Jarusha Kenyon (Greg), Alexander Ray (Chloe), Umeko Thomas (Marcus), Jonas Ray (Gabrielle) and Chloe Ray Dahl; his 17 grandchildren and one great grandchild; his siblings, Pastor Steven Ray (Beth), Deborah Ray and Shirley Ray and nephews, Jacob Ray (Kathryn), Harrison Togia and Spencer Togia (Breanna Dwyer). He was preceded in death by his parents, Lethaniel and Hildegard Ray, and grandson, Brandon Thomas.

Lethaniel graduated from Mt. Tahoma High School (1974), the University of Washington with a BS degree in Biology and Forestry and an MBA from the University of Oregon.

Lethaniel retired from the Internal Revenue Service after more than 30 years as a Forestry Agent. His career blended two of the things he loved: the forest and finances. And those led to his extensive volunteer endeavors: with Pierce County Explorer Search and Rescue for decades, Boy Scouts of America (first earning the rank of Eagle Scout in Troop 16 and then serving as Assistant Scoutmaster in Troop 220 where his sons became Eagle Scouts as well) and with Peace Lutheran Church in Tacoma as a van driver and Sunday School breakfast cook. In addition, he volunteered his time for many years at the Pierce County Library helping people fill out their taxes. He also served as a SAG driver for his children who participated in the annual Courage Classic for over 10 years.

Lethaniel Ray, Jr., was a beloved son, brother, Eagle Scout, Husky, husband, dad, grandpa, Agent, volunteer and friend. He was a gentle giant who enjoyed planning new adventures and reminiscing past experiences. His world may have gotten smaller, but his heart and mind just kept growing. Our family mourns the loss of Lethaniel and, in lieu of flowers, welcome you to join them in donating to Pierce County Explorer Search and Rescue, Peace Lutheran Church (Tacoma) Van Service fund or your local blood bank.

A memorial will be held on Friday, July 15th, at 2:00 p.m. at First Lutheran Church, 524 South I St, Tacoma, WA, 98405. If you would like to attend online via a livestream link, you must email the church ([email protected]) no later than Wednesday the 13th. In response, the church will email you the link before the memorial.

  1. Carmen Lampman says:

    Lethaniel was a smile on legs. His quiet giving spirit was an inspiration to those around him. He will be dearly missed. God’s peace To his dear ones. ☮️💜☀️

  2. Mary Schindler says:

    A light in our world has gone out, and we are left with remembering what was. Lethaniel, we will remember you… in still, small moments as well as in our gatherings and endeavors. You are missed, my friend.

  3. Brent Thompson says:

    My mother Georgeanna Abbott (Thompson) was his teacher at Gray Jr high. We all loved him. Lethaniel was considered as part of the family.

  4. Kim Gordhamer says:

    Lethaniel was one if the most intelligent, articulate and kind person I ever met. He was extremely instrumental in getting the construction of the Peace Community Center with Peace Lutheran Church off the ground. He met faithfully every week with the construction crew and Pastor Plaehn and others until it was finished and beyond. I greatly admired his ability to communicate and work with others. My heart is so heavy thinking of his family. He was a devoted family man with a great big smile and sense of humor. He was a great gift to all of us from God and he will be sorely missed.

  5. bryan ohaleck says:

    I met him on my first day of school in first grade. At recess, there were abunch of kids sitting on another kid. Istarted pushing them off, and Lethaniel got up laughing and said, “They can’t hurt me.”

    It took a while for my growth to catch up, so I owe him all of my school years of being my big friend

  6. Sharon Peterson says:

    Lethaniel was a God given Gift. His smile and loving eyes affirmed his Joyful presence in whoever he was listening to or quietly sharing with. I trust Lethaniel to stay close in care as he walks in Spirit to bring Love and God’s Peace to his life partner ~Jacqueline Ray.

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