Raymond S. Shelmandine Jr.

Raymond S. Shelmandine Jr.

Raymond S. Shelmandine Jr.

December 29, 1936~November 03, 2023

Raymond S. Shelmandine, Jr. December 29, 1936 – November 3, 2023, Raymond S. Shelmandine, Jr., age 86, of Crestview, FL passed away on Friday, November 3rd, at North Okaloosa Medical Center with his daughters at his side. He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and cherished friend, whose absence will leave a tremendous void. Raymond (Ray) was born in Amsterdam, New York to Raymond and Ella Shelmandine.

Ray served in the United States Air Force for four years as Dog Handler for the Military Police. He then moved to Louisville, New York where he was a dairy farmer for the next 25 years. He left dairy farming to work for the Louisville Highway Department as a heavy equipment and snowplow operator. He and his wife, Gail, were long-time members of the Louisville Community Church. Upon his retirement, he fulfilled a long-ago promise to his wife never to spend another winter where it snowed. They became snowbirds with a summer home in Pulaski, New York and a winter home in Sunlake Estates, Grand Island, FL. Ray enjoyed people, he collected new friends wherever he went, he loved country music and dancing, was an avid turkey and deer hunter his whole life, but most of all his family were his pride and joy.

Ray was predeceased by his wife of 55 years, Gail (Johnston) Shelmandine, in February of 2013, his parents, Raymond and Ella Shelmandine, his in-laws, Howard and Ida Mae Johnston, and his brother, James Shelmandine.

Ray is survived by his three daughters, Sherry Kline, Syracuse, NY, Kathy (Bruce) Thompson, Crestview, FL, and Marsha (Ray) Dillabough, Milton, FL; 6 grandchildren, Joshua (Hailey) Kline, Kyrie Kline, Evan (Taylor) Thompson, Justin Parow, Tyler (Tyler) Parow-Meyers; and Chase Thompson (Kimberly Minor); 6 great grandchildren, Bentley Parow, Chase Parow, Keaton Thompson, Jackson Kline, Wrenley Thompson and Kylie Beach, his brother, Gerald (Connie) Shelmandine, sister, Sandra Szabo, sister-in-law, Carol Shelmandine, along with numerous cousins and dear friends.

A Celebration of Life memorial service will be held from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 18th, at Brackney Funeral Service in Crestview, FL.

The family would like to extend their heartfelt appreciation and gratitude to the dedicated staff at Eden at Crestview, as well as the North Okaloosa Medical Center, for their support and kindness throughout this difficult time.

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate that donations be made to The American Heart Association or The National Wild Turkey Federation.

You can share memories and offer condolences at www.brackneyfuneralservice.com

Celebration of Life

Brackney Funeral Service Chapel

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JoAnne Hurlbut

November 7, 2023, 5:27 pm

I’ll forever be thankful for our best friends Ray and Gail. The countless weekends we spent sharing meals at one house or the other, playing cards, raising our families, spending winters in Florida together, and spending lots of time together. David and Ray were always there for each other exchanging hunting stories and golfing together. As the years went on, and distance separated them, they still kept in touch by phone calls and an occasional visit where they picked right up with their friendship like no time had passed. Reminiscing of the good old days, or talking about the deer seen out the window while sitting in the warm comfort of their homes. I’ll never forget a trip of a lifetime we all took with our families traveling out west. It was the best of times. Years ago, the boys signed a note promising to take their wives to Hawaii in 1985, but something always came up and we never took that trip. I still have the “promise” note signed by both David and Ray. Both Ray and Gail were always there for me whenever anything was needed, no questions asked. They were wonderful friends, and I will miss them both, along with my husband. I’m alone now, but have many years of wonderful memories that I cherish. There is nothing sweeter than true, loyal friends. Thanks for the memories….

Beach & Tamara Curtis, and Glenda Cantrell

November 18, 2023, 3:36 pm

I first met Ray in the ultrasound/radiology waiting room of the four story medical building in Crestview. We were both waiting to have tests done. He was with his daughter and I was by myself. He was happily chatting with his daughter, and anyone else that entered the waiting room. I welcomed the distraction and thought he was incredibly sweet. He reminded me of my grandfather, who I was very close to, that had passed away several years earlier. I don’t recall all the specific things we spoke about, but what I remember the most is how quickly he put me at ease while awaiting my test. I was nervous about having it done and what the results would reveal. I remember being disappointed my name was called for my procedure, because I was really enjoying talking to him. He had such a kind smile and easy laugh. I thought to myself, “What a sweet, kind, and funny old man. I’m glad he was here today!”

Fast forward about a month or so. My husband and I were at Eden with my mother-in-law, Glenda, who also lived there, for her first happy hour. We had brought her there in May, because she could no longer live alone. She was struggling a bit to settle into memory care because she was very frustrated she couldn’t return to her home in TN. One step into the Bistro at Eden, with the music playing and smiling faces greeting her, she was instantly happy to be there. Then, to top it all off, she met Ray. I recognized him from the waiting room. And, because I work at the hospital’s surgical services department, I’d had the pleasure of recovering him from a minor procedure he’d recently had. I asked him how he was doing and he said he was doing great. I introduced him to Glenda and a new song started to play, and he asked her to dance. That dance started a friendship between those two that was very special. They became happy hour buddies and even Senior Prom King and Queen!
Dementia is a horrible, awful, debilitating disease. Glenda’s memory continues to decline and it’s difficult sometimes to find activities she truly enjoys. The couple months she and Ray had together created memories she actually remembers which is wonderful.
Our lives are richer by far for the memories created during the few short months we knew Ray. He was an amazing human being and we will never forget him! Thank you for all the smiles, stories, hugs and dances, Ray. Glenda, Mr. Slap and Tamara love you very much!

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