Raymond Ropp, 76

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Raymond E. Ropp, 76, was born in Priest River, Idaho on Nov 25, 1933. He passed away on Feb 2, 2010.

The summer that Ray was 15 he went to work packing supplies in to the Lookouts around Priest Lake for the Forest Service. In those days, the late 1940’s they used mule trains to get the supplies up the mountains. This meant camping out all summer.

He worked for the Forest Service during the summer for three years. In his later years, he would camp out around Priest Lake from June until October picking huckleberries.

 He was familiar with every trail or road in the Priest Lake country.

 When he was 18 he went to work for E.C. Olson Mill.  He worked as a grease monkey, he also worked in the mill and later drove a lumber truck.

 Ray married Elena Hammeren on March 17, 1955, they later divorced and Lena went to live in Coeur d’Alene. Elena passed away on June 14, 2009.

 He worked for Burn Machinery and Hall Logging Company.  From 1961 to 1977 he worked for Bower Machinery in Spokane, Wash., as a master mechanic on heavy equipment.

 He worked for several years in Alaska as a master mechanic while the pipeline was under construction from the North Slope of Alaska to Valdez. He also worked for Bechtel in Wyoming for three years. He went back to Alaska for Bechtel who was working on a Gold Mine North of Cantwell, Alaska.  

 He came back to Priest River and worked for Murray Equipment as a mechanic. He also worked for Bonner County as a mechanic.

 In 1989 he went to work in Randy Blinn’s shop just outside of Newport. But first, he and Randy had to build the shop.

He later bought a small trailer and lived beside the shop. He enjoyed living there as he could, after he retired, he would visit with all the loggers that came to get their equipment repaired.

 In June 2009 he went to live at River Mountain Village Assisted Living in Newport.

At the assisted living facility they took very good care of him.

He suffered a stroke in October of 2009 and lived at Newport Long Term Care until he passed away.

 He received excellent care at this facility as well.

 He is survived by one son, Richard Earl Ropp of Coeur d’Alene.  He is also survived by his sister, Helen Hunter (and Dude) of Colbert, Wash., brothers, Richard (and Joyce) of Spokane and Murel (and Valarie) of Priest River.

 Ray was preceded in death by one son, Sgt. Rodney Ropp of the U.S. Marine Corps, by his parents, Lucy and Asa Ropp, his sister, Virginia Little and his brother, Ronald Ropp.

A funeral service was held on Feb. 6 at the Sherman-Knapp Funeral Home in Priest River. 

Family and friends are invited to sign the online guest book at sherman-knapp.com

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