Ray C. Muyskens Jr. passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by his loving family, from complications related to Alzheimer’s, Feb. 21, 2021. He was born in Winchester, Va., to Ray Sr. and Virginia (Guess) Muyskens, May 2, 1941. His childhood was spent in Illinois, Indiana, and Wyoming, before moving to San Diego, Calif., during high school. It was there that he first laid eyes on Josephine "Jody" Escarcega, the woman he would marry June 2, 1961. Ray, Jody, and son, Michael, came to the Pacific Northwest on vacation in 1966. Falling in love with the natural beauty of the area, they decided to move to Chehalis to raise their family.
Ray worked for the City of Chehalis for almost 30 years, retiring as Director of Community Services in 1995. Prior to his retirement, he was given the key to the city and the title “Mr. Chehalis”, to acknowledge his devotion to enriching the lives of the citizens of Chehalis, both through his work with the City as well as the service organizations he was involved in (Lions Club, Girl Scouts, etc.). Never seeking recognition, he accomplished many things for our hometown that are still enjoyed today. He worked tirelessly on many projects, coordinating with service groups and state/local agencies on the things such as the development of Stan Hedwall Park, bus tours to the “new” King Dome and the King Tut exhibit, the Hot Air Fair, and the Penny Playground, to name a few. In addition to these efforts, Dad also found time to coach his daughters' softball teams, sons’ Babe Ruth teams, and assist Jody with her volunteer work at the Evergreen Playhouse.
Ray is survived by his wife of almost 60 years, Jody; four children: sons, Michael and David, and daughters, Lisa (Jim) Bleichner and Jennifer (Dave) McNeil. Ray and Jody were blessed with seven grandchildren, Skyler, Noah, Adam, Madison, Jude, Katelyn, and Sophia.
Ray’s ashes will be spread at the places he loved most. A private family gathering will take place on what would have been his 80th birthday.