Obituary Details

Raymond Gustaf Pekrul

April 8, 1929 - February 18, 2016

Birthplace & Residence

Information withheld per family request

Viewing

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Memorial Service

Location:
Brier Creek Memorial Gardens
Date:
Saturday, February 27, 2016
Service Time:
1:30 PM to 2:00 PM

Cemetery

Information withheld per family request

Notes

Raymond ‘Ray’ Gustaf Pekrul of Raleigh, NC passed away on February 18, 2016 at the age of 86.

Ray loved playing sports like football and baseball, going to the movies with his brother Ron and riding his bike. He ran track at New Britain High School, running the quarter mile and 4 by 440 relay.

You would be hard pressed to find a picture of Ray where he wasn't wearing a hat of some sort. One time he was sick as a young man and went to a doctor who said, “Wear a hat!” He took that to heart and built up a large collection of baseball caps, knit caps for sleeping and dress hats to wear to church and work.

Following high school Ray worked at the General Electric factory in Plainville, CT. He was drafted in 1951 during the Korean War. Being told by friends to avoid the Army since he would come back home in a box, he decided to join the Navy. He got lost and couldn't find the Navy recruiting office, but did finally find the Air Force office. For basic training he was assigned with a National Guard unit from Savannah Georgia. They never let him forget that he was a 'Yankee'. During the war he served in Japan and Korea, and then on various bases in the U.S.

Ray was the first in his family to attend college and received his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in 1958 as part of the first class to graduate from the University of Hartford (formerly Hillyer College). He worked for Combustion Engineering (which later became ABB) as an accountant for 35 years, retiring in 1993.

He met his wife, Elizabeth, at Grace Lutheran Church in Plainville, CT. As the story goes, she had a large donation check for the church. Since he was the treasurer of the church, she said, “Mr. Pekrul, who should I give this check to?” They complemented each other very well. She liked to bake; he loved to eat cookies and pie. She had excellent navigation skills; he had to call home for directions. She loved to talk and he was quiet.

Ray enjoyed new cars. He purchased a new Cadillac in 1958 and also bought one of the first Mustangs (1964 ½). He had two other Mustangs in 1987 and 1998. Ray liked baseball and he could throw a good fast ball. He enjoyed watching sports on TV and would frequently "rest his eyes" but he always seemed to know the score. His favorite baseball team was the Detroit Tigers. Ray also enjoyed listening to music and watching classic Westerns. He was an avid reader and history buff.

He and his wife moved south from Connecticut to North Carolina in 1996 to escape the snow and to be closer to their children and first grandchild. Ray was a consummate list maker. He kept a list of every item he had decided to sell or give away up in Connecticut that he had to buy again for their new home in Raleigh. The one thing he didn’t expect to need again was a snow shovel!
Faith was an important part of Ray's life. He was a member of Grace Lutheran in Plainville, CT, St. John's Lutheran in Westfield, MA, and Hope Lutheran of Wake Forest, NC. Ray loved spending time with family and was very generous. He enjoyed the Set Back card games at family gatherings. He also wanted everything to be neat and in order. Ray was always organizing, cleaning up and building shelves.

Ray believed that “nothing worthwhile is ever easy.” This was especially true during the last few years of his life as he struggled with prostate cancer, the death of his wife of 54 years in 2014, and then finally with his dementia and its complications. His family is grateful for the loving care he received from the staff at the Bright Horizon Family Care Home and the support of Transitions LifeCare (formerly Hospice of Wake County) during his final days.

Ray is predeceased by his wife of 54 years, Elizabeth Gertrude Pekrul. He is survived by his children and their spouses Lauren Pekrul Ingall and Alan Ingall, Brian Pekrul and Leslie Dixon Pekrul, both of Raleigh; grandchildren Corrie Ingall, Dinah Ingall, Russell Ingall, and Rachel Pekrul and his brother Ronald Pekrul of Southington, CT.

A visitation and reception will be held on Saturday February 27, 2016, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Renaissance Funeral Home in Raleigh followed by a graveside service and internment at Brier Creek Memorial Gardens at 1:30 p.m.

In his honor, we suggest that you eat dessert first, tell someone a corny joke, and take some time to sit outside and enjoy the view. He would also remind you not to speed and to make sure that you 'don't take any wooden nickels.'

Donations can be made in his memory to WCPE, 'The Classical Station' (http://theclassicalstation.org), Transitions LifeCare of Raleigh (http://transitionslifecare.org), or Cadence International, a military ministry (http://cadence.org), or the charity of your choice.
Posted by:
Heather
Posted on:
February 22, 2016
Lit a candle in memory of Raymond Gustaf Pekrul
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Viewing

Unknown Location

Memorial Service

Brier Creek Memorial Gardens
7600 Access Blvd
Raleigh, NC 27617
919-596-3297

Cemetery

Unknown Location