Ray A. Wagstaff was born on January 21, 1949 to David Wagstaff & Amy Hutchinson. He was welcomed
into the world after his twin brother, Roy Wagstaff, during the famous 1949 blizzard. He grew up in
Hilliard on the Wagstaff Ranch with his siblings, Mildred “Fay” (Devon Black), David (Loretta), Jeanette,
Virginia (Cecil Hoffman), Terry (Dee Allison), Marvin (Annie), Roy (Gerri), Linda, Larry (Mary Sue), and
Peggy (Ron Hutchinson). David and Amy had two children, Bertha and Tommy, that were called back to
heaven at birth.
Ray worked cattle and sheep on the family ranch. He would take the wagon and their team of horses to
feed the sheep and cows. After the haying was done at the Wagstaff Ranch, Ray would help Grandpa
Wagstaff and Uncle Joe with their hay by Grandpa’s house across Highway 150. Ray and his brothers
helped build the fence around the Wagstaff Summer Range and they would stay up there in the summer
to tend the sheep. Growing up on the Wagstaff Ranch is where Ray learned to sheer sheep and acquired
his work ethic of helping other people without expecting anything in return. Ray was one of the most
selfless people one could ever meet.
There were lots of days filled with distractions that kept him from attending school. He told the teachers
he had to go to Idaho to get grain for the sheep or go find some bucks, so he could go hunting or really
anything instead of going to school. Ray would often take several classmates with him to play hooky.
Ray and Roy would trade clothes during the school day to attend each others classes, one was good at
math and one was good at English. When one was in trouble, they would switch places to help each
other out. Ray played for the Red Devil Football team and wrestled for Evanston High School. Ray was a
State Champion Wrestler for Evanston in 1965 weighing in at 127 pounds. Ray lettered in the E Club at
Evanston High School in 1966. Ray took second at Wyoming State Wrestling in 1966. The principal, Jerry
Parker, told the twins when they walked across the stage for graduation, he wasn’t sure if he should
allow them to graduate because they owed him several days of school. However, Jerry was sure glad to
see them go as they were a handful. Ray continued to attend every Red Devil Football game he could.
Every year, Ray loved to help with Evanston Invitational Wrestling.
SP 4, Ray Wagstaff was drafted into the US Army on April 9, 1969. His service began in Fort Ord, CA.
Then he was sent overseas to be stationed in Nha Trang, Vietnam. Ray was very proud to serve his
country. He grew very close to his fellow soldiers always looking out for each other like family. He was
always a proud Veteran, honored to participate in the 21-Gun Salute for fellow Veterans who have
passed away. Ray’s favorite memory from his service in Vietnam was when a water buffalo wandered
into their camp. His fellow soldiers were intimidated by this beast. He was volunteered to herd the beast
out of camp, being a Wyoming Cowboy, he had the skills to deal with this animal. He soon found out
that he possessed absolutely no Water Buffalo herding skills. Ray was shown up by a young Vietnamese
boy who calmly spoke to the water buffalo and was able to coax it out of camp. Ray was honorably
discharged from the Army on November 2, 1970. He received a National Defense Service Medal, a
Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Army Regulation Medal, an
Army Expert Marksmanship Badge for M-14, and two Overseas Bars for Vietnam.
When Ray returned home, he worked for Union Pacific Railroad. If there was something to be done on
the job he would do it, he could outwork just about anybody. He worked long hours, took every after
hours call-out, even worked holidays so others didn’t have to. Ray grew very close to his co-workers, he
referred to them as his very close friends. After 39 years of working for Union Pacific, he retired only to
return to his ranching roots. Ray dedicated 12 years as a volunteer for Sims Ranch. The Sims Family soon
became Ray’s second family. Ray found himself helping Sims children, Mikilie, Hunter, and Braunson
with anything they needed, and watched them participate in sports and rodeos. Ray just always wanted
to show his love and support. They would go hunting together, riding horses, and Ray would spend his
weekdays helping at their ranch. He would help dock lambs, sheer sheep, brand cows, preg test cows,
and his highlight feeding the bum lambs. Ray would always have to bring about a dozen home every
year to bottle feed, the bums spoke to his soft heart.
Ray somehow found time every spring to sheer sheep all over Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada as a hobby.
Even at the age of 72, he could sheer more sheep than any young buck.
Ray was a member of the Evanston Elk’s Lodge and volunteered countless hours of his time. It was at
the Elk’s Lodge where Ray met the love of his life, Leisa Reiter in 1995. Ray & Leisa married on July 11,
2002. They did everything together, the only time they were apart were some summer Sunday
mornings. Ray would go to Coalville on Sundays to help butcher animals at Boyer’s Meats. Ray helped
butcher at Boyer’s for over 40 years, expecting nothing in return, just always glad to help. Ray & Leisa
enjoyed camping, four wheeling, and traveling to see members of the Wagstaff Family. Ray’s passions
included hunting, watching western films, and rodeo. He gave so much of his time to help so many in
the community with literally anything. You would never even have to ask, if he overheard you needing
help to get something done, Ray would come to the rescue, never expecting anything in return. After 20
years of marriage, Ray was taken from his family unexpectedly on August 29, 2022.
Ray had a love for animals. He would bring cats, dogs, chickens, ducks, turkeys, rabbits, goats, sheep,
and horses home. He got so much enjoyment from taking care of anything that would love him back. If
Darby or Sadie wanted any animal to show in 4-H or just to have, it would be in the backyard the next
day. Ray loved to help his children with the 4-H animals. The only reason Ray bought the blue second
gen dodge that he drove around was to take Darby, Sadie and their horses to every parade, rodeo, or
queen contest. That included many trips to Cheyenne Frontier Days and to the Miss Rodeo Wyoming
Contest. Ray always wanted to make sure his kids didn’t miss any opportunity.
Ray had five children, Jeanna (Brent Martin), Garth (Sharon Robison), Laurie Wagstaff, Tristen (Michael
Lucius), and Melissa Wagstaff (Bronzil Parks). Ray also raised two bonus children, Darby (Brett Noorda)
and Sadie Rabold. Ray always provided for his children to make sure they had anything they wanted or
needed; he would find a way to make anything happen. Ray had many grandchildren and great
grandchildren. Jeanna’s family grew to add Kayden (Bailey & child Lyla), Connor, Olivia, and Aubrey.
Garth’s family included children Kyler, Korbin, Malek, Emmery, Rigden. Laurie’s family included children
Abi (Jake) and Gavin (Jade and children, Peyten & Parker). Tristen had children Braxton (Delaney and
children Carter & Colten), Brayton (Monika and children Stetsynn & Jace), Madison, an angel who was
called back to heaven, and Tristen’s stepchild, Broque. Melissa’s family grew to add a child, Dillon.
Darby’s family grew to add children Brekn Ray & Bentley. Ray also left behind many nieces, nephews,
and friends whom he loved dearly.
Ray’s Family will hold a celebration of life in his honor on September 24, 2022 at the Evanston Machine
Shop from 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM. Ray will receive his 21-Gun Salute at 3:30 PM during the celebration of
life. In lieu of flowers/plants, or gifts, Leisa asks that you donate to the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Ray