1931 – 2023
Rayvin Lester Straub (91) was born December 6, 1931, to Emanuel Straub and Albina Weller Straub on a farm near Eureka, South Dakota. He died March 26 at his home in West Linn, Oregon, following a short illness.
As a young boy, Ray moved to California with his family when his father, E. A. Straub, sold the farm to enter the ministry as a pastor in Lodi. Ray graduated from Lodi High School in 1949 as senior class president and decided to enter the ministry of the Church of God (Seventh Day).
Ray married Shirley Baker in 1953 and assumed his first pastoral role in Fresno. Upon the tragic death of Carl Stacy, Ray was called to pastor the church in Los Angeles and later in Marion, Oregon. There, in 1962, he organized and directed the first youth camp in the Church, held at Silver Creek Falls, Oregon. Its success encouraged the hundreds of youth camps (and senior camps) that have taken place since.
After moving to Sacramento in the mid 1960’s, Ray served as pastor, West Coast District superintendent, and the Church’s national radio speaker on Faith for Our Times. In 1973, he moved to pastor the Lodi church and then helped establish and direct the Church’s first post-graduate seminary in Denver, Colorado (Ministerial Training Center, later renamed Summit School of Theology). Following his service in Denver, he moved back to Marion, Oregon, to pastor that congregation a second time.
During his ministry, Ray served on the executive board (board of directors) as vice chairman for many years. He joined Robert Coulter on trips to Mexico and the Caribbean Islands as representatives of the General Conference. Ray was known as an exceptional speaker, speaking at most General Conference and district conventions, as well as on Faith for Our Times. His formal ministry with the Church ended with the end of his marriage to Shirley. In 1985, he married Eunice Salinas and remained married to her for 36 years until his death.
Ray loved God and he loved people. He felt blessed to be around family and friends, especially old friends, but he always had room for new friends as well. In public, he was not hesitant to interrupt a complete stranger to ask a question or note an admirable quality.
Ray loved gospel music. At family gatherings he always wanted to include a time to sing hymns. During the evenings, he would listen to and watch gospel music.
Ray is survived by his wife Eunice; five children: Rick (Kathy), Eric (Cindy), Marla Dimick (Greg), Dorothy Berry (Ryan), and Tim Severance (Heather); twelve grandchildren; ten great-grandchildren; a brother Nathan (Nancy); and a brother-in-law and best friend, Ben Dais. Ray was preceded in death by his first wife, Shirley, and two siblings, Luella Severson and Delora Dais.