Raymond Heinitz was born September 2, 1919 at Conrad, Montana, and died October 1, 2017 in Conrad. Although Ray's life began and ended in Conrad, he traveled many roads and wore many hats in his 98 years.
After spending most of his school years in Helena, Ray's National Guard unit was activated in September of 1940 for what initially was intended to be one year of active duty. Instead, he spent the next five years on active duty, finishing with 3 ½ years in the South Pacific in the longest continuous overseas battle assignment of any U.S. military division of WW II.
The war experience stayed with him throughout his years, but he wasted no time on arriving home in August of 1945, by meeting and marrying his future wife Marjorie in less than two months. They celebrated their 60th anniversary just a few months before she passed away in March of 2006.
Ray and Marj lived, worked and farmed in the Conrad and Ledger area for many years, relocating to Lincoln in the 1970's, where they began the Blackfoot Valley Dispatch newspaper and operated a print shop. They loved their winter house in Quartzsite, Arizona and spent many years there hosting visitors.
Ray is predeceased by his wife, Marjorie; brother Paul Heinitz, sisters Glenelle Longmire, Irene Sigety, and Rebecca Kunnary Beck; and three infant children, Catherine, David, and Charlene.
He is survived by his daughter Sheryl Swanson (Three Forks, Montana), and his son Daryl Heinitz (Kingman, Arizona), brother Vic Heinitz and sister Redamae Reinig (both from East Helena, Montana), sister Suzanne Dodge (West Jordan, Utah); four grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren.
Ray spent the last several years at the Pondera Medical Center Extended Care Facility in Conrad, where he was treated with dignity and kindness. The family suggests donations in Ray's name be made to that facility through Pondera Health Care Foundation, PO Box 802, Conrad, Montana 59425.
Services will be held at Pondera Funeral Home, 302 S. Main St., Conrad, Montana on Thursday, October 5, 2017 at 1:00 P.M., followed by light refreshments before the graveside service with military honors at Hillside Cemetery in Conrad.