Friday, May 22, 2009

Ray H. Collishaw: pegged out...

From Helena IR:

Entrepreneur and businessman Ray H. Collishaw, 75, died May 17, 2009, in Helena. Born to Madeleine “Jonnie” Johnson and Howard Collishaw on March 2, 1934, Ray joined the Marines in 1952, shortly after graduation from Helena High School earlier that year. It was at Helena High where Ray met his high-school sweetheart, Earlyn Bjork, and they married on Feb. 26, 1954. They were married 55 years until Ray’s passing.

After his discharge from the Marines in 1955, Ray decided to relocate to seek his fortune, and he and Earlyn moved to California in 1956. It was in California where Ray began a career as a successful entrepreneur. He built and managed many successful business ventures, spanning several areas of interest, including Collishaw Sprinkler Company, Collishaw Development, Twin Creeks Sports Complex, Mountain Winery, and J R Chops Restaurant. Ray lived in Los Gatos, Calif. until he semi-retired, returning to Helena in 2002.

However outstanding his career achievements, they pale in comparison with his life’s greatest achievement: his family. Ray was an avid family man who wanted to give his family the world, and decided to do it one location at a time. His trips with them spanned the globe, including forays from Japan to Italy, Africa, New Zealand, and Hawaii. And yet his favorite trips were often the annual summer visits to his mountain cabin in Nelson with those he loved.

Always a man of many interests, it’s no surprise that his personal interests were as varied as his business ventures, and included hunting, fishing, traveling and playing cards. His competitive spirit would often appear during games of backgammon and cribbage. Ray loved waterskiing and snow skiing with his children and later enjoyed watching grandchildren in their extracurricular activities.

Well loved and remembered by all who knew him for his generosity, Ray gave just as tirelessly to his community. He was a constant supporter of multiple charities, giving frequently to schools, parks and recreation. His support benefited many, including the Crippled Children’s Society and the Fisher Middle School Gym. He left an enduring, living legacy with the donation of York Community Park to the city.

Facts are not enough to pay tribute to this man. He will continue to live in the memory of his family, his friends and his employees. He is remembered as the husband who once chartered a plane to get his wife to Denver to see her family when the commercial flights were all snowed in, or the father who proudly presented a huge album to his son of every picture and clipping of each game pitched, none were missed, or simply as the friend who offered a young friend of his grandson’s a thousand dollars if she would only quit smoking. His employees say he was the best boss they had ever known, and his reputation only grows from there.

Ray is survived by his loving wife of 55 years, Earlyn Collishaw; and his five children, Bob, Mike, married to Lisa, Patti, Dave, married to Kathy, and Penny, and his “adopted” daughter, Margaret. He was the proud grandfather of 14 grandchildren, Sara, Dylan, Renee, Lindsay, Megan, Tara, Nic, Casey, Alexa, Jake, Carly, Brianna, Heather and Leslie; and two great-grandchildren, Victoria and Alex. Ray was preceded in death by his parents; and his son, Gary.

Memorial services will be held Thursday, May 21, at 11 a.m. at Retz Funeral Home, 315 East 6th Ave., Helena, MT 59601. Those wishing to pay their respects may send flowers to the funeral home or send donations to Westmont, 2708 Bozeman Ave., Helena MT 59601, or to a charity of donor’s choice. To offer condolences to Ray’s family or to share a memory of Ray, please visit www.mem.com.

Original article...

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