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KALISPELL - James Ray Myers, 91, died Thursday, Feb. 13, 2003, at a care home in Kalispell.

A funeral service was held Monday at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Kalispell with burial at the C.E. Conrad Memorial Cemetery.

Myers was born on June 11, 1911, at Columbus to Ira M. and Myrtle B. (Tucker) Myers.

Ray received his teaching certificate from Eastern Montana College in Billings and began teaching in Lone Pine in 1935. He moved on to teach in Missoula and then entered the U.S. Navy in 1942 to serve his country during World War II.

Ray met and married Violet "Vi" Arneson in October 1942. After serving in the Navy, Ray returned to Missoula and resumed his teaching career. The family moved to Kalispell in 1949 and Ray became principal at Cornelius Hedges Elementary School. He served in that position until his retirement in 1976.

Ray was a member of the Montana Teachers Association for 41 years and served in the Montana Principals Association for 27 years. He served as the president of the Montana State Principals Association in 1975. During his years in education, Ray received a B.S. and a master's degree from the University of Montana. He attended classes toward his doctorate at Stanford University, University of Utah and in Hawaii.

Ray loved music and was involved in Bethlehem Lutheran Church choir and Flathead Symphony Orchestra. He organized the Kalispell Gleeman Chorus in 1950 and was active in the Flathead Barbershop quartet. Ray also was active in the Elks Club for more than 64 years and the Kalispell Lions Club for more than 50 years. he was past district governor for Lions Club International in 1962-63. During the years in Lions, Ray and Vi attended many conventions including those in Nice, France, and Hawaii.

Ray was preceded in death by his parents and one sister, Ila Kossel.

Survivors include his wife, Violet of Kalispell; sons, James (Linda) Myers of Pullman, Wash., and Kenneth (Karen) Myers of Havre; six grandchildren, including Karley McKay and Kristopher Myers of Havre; five great-grandchildren; and brother, Mel Myers of Kalispell.

Memorials may be made to the J. Ray Myers Scholarship Fund, c/o Richard Wallace, Wells Fargo Bank, 201 First Ave. E., Kalispell, MT 59901.

Arrangements were under the direction of Johnson Mortuary and Crematory.


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