Iowans say final goodbye to Iowa Governor Ray

DES MOINES, Iowa- A large crowed fill the First Christian Church in Des Moines today (Friday) for the funeral of former Iowa Governor Robert Ray, who died Sunday at the age of 89.

Bill Spangler-Dunning, Regional Minister for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the UpperMidwest, officiated at today’s funeral for Governor Robert D Ray.   (Photo from First Christian Church)  Pastor Spangler-Dunning reminded those gathered of a quote from Robert D. Ray, 

"Don’t tell me how Christian you are, Show me! Show me!"

Eulogies were given by former Ray Chief of Staff David Oman, Scott Raecker, who runs the Robert D. and Billie Ray Center at Drake University, and former Ambassador Kenneth Quinn.

"A keen mind, a warm, heart, and a bias for action by one person can cause great change and uncork good will among so many.  Governor Ray's life ended without regret or remorse.  Remembering in the grace of his example, we're able to live our lives with renewal and resolve," said Oman.

"Governor Ray set the standard for how to treat people, and we can all be better people if we look to Governor Ray as a model," said Raecker.

"Governor Ray has left our earthly home, and that has created a void in our lives, and that hurts, however, I would challenge us to think that the real void would be if we had never had his presence in our life,"  Raecker continued.

Ambassador Quinn, a long time friend of Ray spoke of Governor Ray's efforts to bring refugees from southeast Asia to Iowa.

"The Tai-Dam had written to every governor in America, saying 'please resettle us, as a people to save our culture, our language, our kinship,' and the only one who responded was Governor Bob Ray."

"He saw that his obligation was to his fellow human beings, who were suffering and dying, even if the color of their skin, the language they spoke, or the religion they followed were all different than his own."

Family and friends attended today's funeral, along with numerous current and former elected officials, Republicans and Democrats.  Former  Governors Tom Vilsack and Chet Culver were there, as well as Ambassador to China, and former Governor Terry Branstad, who was Ray's Lieutenant Governor.

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