Raymond Harold Ivens, 86, passed away in his home on Nov. 9th after living a long and full life.
Raymond was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma Oct. 28, 1927 to Harold and Mable (Frazier) Ivens. The family moved to Muskogee in 1939 when his father was hired to manage Hunt’s Department Store in downtown Muskogee. He attended Longfellow Elementary, West Jr. High and graduated from Central High School in 1945. Raymond then joined the Marine Corps serving 3 years in southern California. After receiving an Honorable Discharge, he returned to school and graduated from Oklahoma A&M, now O.S.U. in 1952 with a business degree. Raymond then joined his father at Hunt’s as the credit manager.
In 1954, Raymond married Nancy Rawlinson of Muskogee. He considered himself very blessed for the 55 years they had together.
They had 3 daughters, Lorie, Lisa, and Leslie. They had one son, Mathew, they lost to leukemia at the age of 5. Raymond had an older sister, Marcheta and younger brother, Mike.
While at Hunt’s, Raymond was active with the Retail Merchants Association and The Downtown Promotion Group, planning various events throughout the years to bring people downtown to shop. He enjoyed great friendships with fellow merchants — Bernie Susman of Susman's Clothing, Brud McEntee-McEntee's Jewelers, and Dick Davidson of Klar Brothers Jewelry. This crew was well known as the original lunch bunch. Hunt’s quickly became a family business employing almost every family relative at sometime or other. In 1972, Raymond and his father acquired ownership of Hunt’s. Joined by wife, Nancy they did it all, stocking shelves to buying merchandise! The character and integrity of Raymond and his father is much of what made Hunt’s a special place to shop. When the store was closed out in 1988, after almost 50 yrs. in business, the outpouring of friends and customers was overwhelming.
After several years of retirement, Raymond was employed by friends, Lynn and Carol Hoffman of Hoffman Printing Company managing the Artisan Books department. A happy association for 13 years, ending due to ill health in 2011.
As a husband, father, brother, son, uncle, great-grandfather, and friend, he was the best. From consistent daily visits to his beloved sister, Marcheta Sheets, stricken with MS to wagon rides for the grandkids, trips to Dewberry Drug for old fashioned chocolate sodas, a little money reward for reading books, he and Nancy attending any and all grandkids activities and sports, trips to the Peach Barn for ice cream, card playing — just to name a few. Raymond was not only a gentleman but was a gentle man. He was funny, witty, entertaining and very nostalgic. He had a passion for the wonderful old classic films of the 1930’s and 1940’s. He passed that love down to his daughters and even to two of his grandsons! Raymond loved the big band music from the 40’s. He and wife Nancy were excellent dancers and and enjoyed dancing to the big band music while members of a dance club.
Raymond grew up in and raised his family at First Baptist Church. He was a deacon while there. He and Nancy taught the young married Sunday School class and were involved with the youth as well. Later he moved the family to a small Bible church. His passion for knowledge and understanding of the Word was constant and studied daily.
Raymond was preceded in death by his parents; son, Mathew Rawlie; and sister, Marcheta.
He is survived by his three daughters, Lorie Hill of the home, Lisa Yochum of Muskogee, Leslie Brannon & husband, Kevin of Muskogee; his brother, Mike of Seattle; and his grandchildren, Josh Hill and wife, Sarah of Tyler,TX, Zach Hill of Dallas, Hannah Hill of Tyler,TX, Cody Yochum of Mattoon,IL, Rachel Yochum of Edmond, OK, Mikaela Brannon Miller & husband, Aaron and great-grandson Luke of Ft.Gibson, OK, Makenzie and Mea Brannon of Muskogee. Raymond is also survived by his nieces and nephews: Kathy Sheets, Ann Sheets Henry and special grand-nephew Jacob "Jake" Henry, Dr.Jack Sheets and wife, Annie, their children John and Caroline, Jeff Ivens and daughter of Seattle, Chris Ivens and wife and two daughters of Seattle.
Funeral services for Raymond will be 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, November 13, 2013 at Cornerstone Funeral Home Chapel with Pastor Rodney Stacy officiating. Interment will follow at Greenhill Cemetery.
Funeral services are under the direction of Cornerstone Funeral Home. Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.cornerstoneofmuskogee.com.