Raymond Rygg

His signature plaid shirt, a genuinely easy-going and humorous spirit, and his love for his trade is how Raymond Joseph Rygg will be remembered best.

Ray was born on Aug. 11, 1924 in Arlington, Washington, to Joseph and Ida Rygg. Ray spent his entire life in Stanwood, graduating from Lincoln High School in the class of 1942. In June 2017 he celebrated his 75th high school class reunion as the only surviving member of the class. At the age of 15, Ray was introduced to buying cattle at local livestock auctions for Rygg Packing Co. a company founded by his father. Ray enjoyed being a cattle buyer, especially spending time with the many friends he made in the business. With his father’s untimely death, he was forced to take over management of the business, but he soon learned this was not his calling. In 1966 he sold the business to Jack and Bev Lenz, who transformed the company into Schenk Packing Co. and Ray happily returned to doing what he enjoyed — being a cattle buyer. Upon his retirement from Schenk Packing at the age of 89, Ray had been a cattle buyer for 74 years.

In 1948, Ray met a new Stanwood High School English teacher, Constance Smith, and it wasn’t too long before Ray knew she was the one for him. Ray and Connie were married in 1950 and spent 59 years together until her death in 2009. They had two children, Gary Rygg of Stanwood and Carol Brumet of Ferndale.

Ray is survived by his son Gary; daughter Carol; daughter-in-law Debbie Rygg; grandchildren Allison (Bret) Reid of Stanwood, Matt Rygg and his partner Justin Ramos of Portland, Oregon, and Erin (Ken) Forbes of Lake Stevens; and four great-grandchildren. Ray is also survived by his sister-in-law Betty Ann Smith and her two children of Seattle.

Ray was preceded in death by his son-in-law, Jerry Brumet.

Ray, Gary and Carol especially gratefully acknowledge the entire Lenz family and particularly Tom, Steve, Bill and Doug for their kindness and generosity over the years. The friendship and loyalty that developed between the Lenz family and Ray will always be valued and remembered.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 10, in Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church of Stanwood. Arrangements are under the direction of Gilbertson’s Funeral Home, Stanwood.

Donations can be made to Hospice of the Northwest, Suite A, 227 Freeway Dr., Mount Vernon, WA 98273.