Raymond “Ray” Robert McAtee, 81, of Bellevue, IA passed away on April 23, 2020 at Mill Valley Care Center in Bellevue. A private family burial will be at Mount Olivet Cemetery, with Deacon Loras Weber officiating. The Leonard Funeral Home & Crematory is in charge of arrangements.
Ray was born on March 22, 1939 at home in Coggon, Iowa the son of Hartzell and Lucille (Miller) McAtee. He lived at Saint Mary’s Orphan Home, Dubuque, IA from the Fall of 1951 until he went to live with the Leon and Verna Habel family, Balltown, IA in the Spring of 1952. As a young boy he worked as a farm hand in the Balltown and Asbury areas until 1957. He dedicated the next 42 years of his life at the Dubuque Packing Company and was a member of the UFCW Local 150A.
He married Kathleen “Kay” Thoeni and from that union they had five children. He later married Patricia Cornwell who preceded him in death. Ray had a great love of animals, especially horses. He shared that passion with his children by spending quality time on their weekly trail rides with the Bellevue Horseman’s Club which he was a member of.
Bowling was Ray’s other passion. During the Winter months he played on three, sometimes four, leagues and was a proud member of the 700 Club. In the Summer, Ray would operate the pit gate at the Dubuque County Speedway for the weekly stock car races. Both horsemanship and bowling fed Ray’s desire for visiting with people. So it was only natural in his retirement that Ray found yet another way to fulfill his need by joining the City of Dubuque Park Department’s Summer crew at Murphy Park. Both through work and his hobbies many long term friendships were formed that he held dearly. He may not have expressed his feelings freely but his family knew his love for them was deep and will treasure his memory forever.
He is survived by his four children Julie (Jerry “Doc”) Nachtman of LaMotte, Janie Berendes of Bellevue, Scott (Jeni) McAtee of Bellevue, and John McAtee of White Deer, PA; his ten grandchildren Kenny Nachtman, Joey (Lana Otting) Nachtman, Cody (Allison) Nachtman, Audrey (Jared Anderson) Berendes, Courtney (Matthew) Weinschenk, Morgan (Lucas LeGrand) McAtee, Tyler (Dana) McAtee, Will McAtee, Samantha McAtee, and Evan Fair; three great grandchildren Lane, Emma, Thea and another to arrive this fall; two sisters Uva Mae (Dale) Klein and Sherrill Kline.
He was preceded in death by his parents, a son Kenneth in infancy, a son-in-law Bill Berendes, two brothers, Patrick and Dean, and brother-in-law Ed Kline.
The family would like to thank the staff at Bell Tower Retirement, Mill Valley Care Center and Jackson County Hospice along with Dr. Matthew Kirkendall and his nurse Kate, and Dr. Hunter and Emily at Bellevue Medical Associates, for all the loving care and friendship you gave to our dad, grandpa and great grandpa.
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