Raymond L. Winger, 86, of Seneca passed away on Sunday, December 26, 2021 surrounded by his family.
He was born March 22, 1935 in Oil City, PA the fourth son of Alonzo M. Winger and Alice I. Watterson Winger.
Ray was predeceased by an infant brother Edgar, his brother Alonzo M. Winger, Jr. who was killed in action during World War II in February of 1945 on the Island of Luzon, Philippines, and his brother Richard E. Winger, Sr. of Oil City, PA.
A graduate of Oil City High School, Ray enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was stationed at Camp Pendleton California, “N” Company, 3rd Battalion. He was later stationed at Middle Camp Fuji in Japan and Camp Sukiran in Okinawa with Headquarters Company. While stationed in Japan, Ray and a group of Marine friends climbed to the summit of Mt. Fuji, a height of 12,389 ft.; spending one night in a hut part way up, they reached the summit and descended the next day. He always said it was the experience of a lifetime. Ray was honorably discharged from the Philadelphia Naval Station.
Ray was employed with the Oilwell Supply Company, Pennzoil Refining Co. and PA Dept. of Transportation in Franklin, PA retiring in 1997 after 31 years of service.
Ray’s one great honor was being chosen to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC.
On October 21, 1961, Ray married the former Marilyn A. Johnson at Grace United Methodist Church in Oil City PA. They were married for 54 years prior to her passing on January 15, 2016. He always told her she was the best thing that ever happened to him.
Ray was a lifetime member of the Seneca United Methodist Church. He served on the building committee that added the narthex and renovated the sanctuary, Administrative Council, Bible Study group and other church activities.
Ray and Marilyn were avid members of the Franklin YMCA and were volunteers at Oil Creek State Park monitoring bluebird nest boxes for 7 years. They also worked at the Cranberry Food Pantry, took several big trips, and enjoyed attending Biblical Productions at Lancaster Sight and Sound Theatre. You might say they loved being together.
Ray is survived by four children; Susan Ascione and her husband Greg of New Castle, Beth Sheppard and husband Mark of Cooperstown, Lori Ivory and her husband George of Allison Park and Lance Winger and his wife Elizabeth of Wylie, TX.
He is also survived by 9 grandchildren; Travis and Delaney Ascione, Christine McGarrity and her husband Frankie, Jennifer Sheppard, George, Leigh and Erin Ivory, and Grant and Lane Winger, and a great grandson, Francis McGarrity.
Visitation will be held Wednesday (Dec. 29) from 2 – 4 and 6 – 8 p.m. in Hile-Best Funeral Home, 2781 Rte. 257 in Seneca. A funeral service will be held in the funeral home Thursday (Dec. 30) at 10 a.m. with Rev. Zayzay Kpadeh, pastor of Seneca United Methodist Church, officiating. Full military honors will be accorded by the V.E.T.S. Honor Guard following the funeral service. Interment will be in Graham Cemetery in Franklin.
Memorial contributions may be made to Cranberry Area Food Pantry, P.O. Box 446, Seneca, PA 16346; or to Seneca United Methodist Church, 196 East State Rd., Seneca, PA 16346.
To express online condolences to Ray’s family, please visit www.hilebest.com
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Raymond L. Winger, please visit our floral store.