Raymond Leonard Naber, 76, of Miller, passed away in the early morning hours of January 2, 2017 at the Avera Dougherty Hospice House in Sioux Falls with his wife Patricia and other family members close by.
A rosary service will begin at 3:00 p.m. followed by a 3:30 p.m. prayer service, Sunday, January 8, 2017 at St. Ann’s Catholic Church, Miller. Mass of Christian Burial will be 3:00 p.m., Monday, January 9, 2017 at St. Ann’s Catholic Church, Miller with Father Chester Murtha, celebrant. Burial will be at St. Ann’s Cemetery, Miller at a later day.
Ray was born November 8, 1940 in Mitchell, SD to Leonard and Emily (Mullaney) Naber. He was raised on a farm in the Polo area and attended both country and catholic school, graduating from Fairview High School in Polo in 1958. He married Patricia Lakner in October 1962 at St. Joseph’s church in Wessington, SD and they settled on their farmstead north of Miller where he lived until his death. Ray and Pat raised three boys Michael (1963), Jeffrey (1964), and Jason (1970) on the farm where Ray instilled in them a strong work ethic, a dry sense of humor, and an unwavering commitment to family. He farmed and ranched for over fifty years, a profession which suited his independent nature. Even after retiring from farming his own ground, he enjoyed working with his nephew on his farming operation.
Ray enjoyed several hobbies over his lifetime. He was an excellent pool player, placing in several tournaments in his younger years and had just recently returned to shooting in a pool league. He knew his way around a dart board as well, playing league with Pat for thirteen years. His most-loved hobby, though, was that of supporting his children and grandchildren in their many sporting endeavors, and attended countless football, basketball, baseball, and softball games, along with cross-country and swim meets.
Known as “Gramps” to his grandchildren, he simply loved being home on the farm. One of his favorite places to be was in his chair with one or more of his grandkids draped around him. He enjoyed taking all of his children and grandchildren for rides around the farm and through the pasture, especially over “Thrill Hill” which never failed to make the kids scream and Gramps laugh. He was a classic strong and silent type, but his love for, and his pride in his family and his home was never in doubt.
He is survived by his wife, Patricia; sons, Michael (Amy) Naber of Shakopee, MN and Jeffrey Naber of Miller; daughter-in-law, Michelle Naber of Miller; siblings: David (Tammy) Naber of Richfield, ID, Patricia (Gary) LaFurge of Hoven, and Judy (Bill) Lemmel of Lakewood, CO; and his six beloved grandchildren: Jordan Ray, Cody Thomas, Casey Ray, Luke Augustus, Gabrielle Elizabeth, and Michael Patrick Naber.
Ray was preceded in death by his parents, Leonard and Emily Naber; youngest son, Jason; and his wife’s parents, John and Elizabeth (Wernsmann) Lakner.