Uncle Ray was special to me.  I was born on his birthday in 1951, so from the very beginning we had a special relationship.  He and Aunt Mabel were selected as my Godparents and to this day Mabel and I still remain close.
I broke my leg in an accident when I was six years old.  As a result I was in a hip spica cast on both legs for close to three months.  From that time on Uncle Ray always called me "Crip" every time we ran into each other.  I can still hear him saying, "H'lo, Crip! How ya' doin'?"  In fact the last time I saw him that was the very phrase he used.  And he always had that little gleam in his eye as he said it - letting me know that that was our special greeting.
When I was eight years old, Ray and Mabel gave me a birthday party at their house.  Of course, it was a party for Ray, but they made me feel very special also.  In fact they gave me a camera - the first one I ever had.  Boy, was that neat!  And needless to say, that started a whole other story.  You can ask anyone in my family - I have taken more pictures of people and "things" than anyone ever needs.  But they are so nice to look back on.  Ray must have known how I'd love that camera.
One other time, at Christmas, I remember getting a bride doll from Ray and Mabel.  It's a three foot high doll and in those days, that was really neat.  I played with that doll for many years.  I "pierced" her ears; I painted her finger nails and toe nails; I restyled her hair.  She adorned my bed for many years as I was growing up.  In fact I still have that bride doll.  It's put up in my bedroom closet.  I keep thinking I will make a new bride dress for her, but just have never gotten around to it.
These are just a few of the precious memories I have of Uncle Ray.  He was such a fun loving, easy going, warm person.  It hurts that we had to lose him in such an untimely manner, but I know he smiles on us every day and looks out for each and everyone of us - his family.  I know we all miss him so very much.  I'm sure he's our own angel in Heaven and having a darn good time there also.
Love always, Teresa

In Memory of Raymond Henry Montavon
October 25, 1920 - July 7, 2001