March 3, 1943 - October 26, 2021
Raymond Joseph Vasil lost his fight with cancer on October 26, 2021. Ray was born on March 3, 1943 in Cleveland, Ohio and his family moved to Fort Worth, Texas when he was just an infant. July 4, 1970, he married the love of his life and soul mate, Dale Elizabeth Brown and they lovingly raised their three children in Arlington, Texas. Ray and Dale purchased what would later become their retirement home in Emory, Texas in 1995. It was their weekend retreat until Ray retired from Bell Helicopter as a specialist painter where he had worked for 43 years beginning when he was only 18. At the age of 61, Ray and Dale sold the home in Arlington where the kids were raised and moved permanently to Emory. When he was asked what he was going to do each day after retiring and living at the lake, he would smile and say, “Whatever I want.”
This famous phrase “whatever I want” resulted in the purchase of almost 50 acres of land just outside of Alba, Texas. He kept himself busy and smiling as he cleared timber, dug a huge one-acre pond (mostly with a tiny tractor that was NOT built for that job), and planted many fruit trees and berries including 167 paper shell pecan trees. This hard yet rewarding work outdoors became one of his greatest enjoyments and he said, “I’ve never felt closer to God than when I am working on the land.” Some of his favorite hobbies throughout the years included coaching and reffing youth soccer, mentoring, gardening, fishing and hunting. Ray and his best friend and neighbor, Martin, kept busy every fall processing deer for neighbors and friends from miles around. Ray was always selflessly lending a helping hand whenever it was needed. His three favorite words were, “Happy, Happy, Happy.” He always wanted everyone to be happy! He loved to play cards, mostly poker, with his children and grandchildren and he loved playing his Elvis records. Ray is survived by his devoted wife, Dale, their three children, Stacie Rudloff, Eric Vasil, and Bret Vasil, as well as five grandchildren, Sierra, Derek, Skylar, Kaylie and Holden, and one great grandchild, Peyton.
Saying goodbye is difficult, but we have the privilege and honor to carry on Ray’s legacy by loving and serving others well, working hard in all that we do, and putting our families and loved one’s needs before our own, just as he did so well throughout his 78 years of life. While gifts, flowers, and other thoughtful items are greatly appreciated, we kindly ask instead that a donation be made to the American Cancer Society or St. Jude on Ray’s behalf to aid in cancer research. There will be a celebration of life ceremony held on December 10, 2021 at 2pm at St. John The Evangelist Catholic Church in Emory, Texas.