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Iowa Mourns the Passing of 38th Governor

By Aaryn Frazier, July 09, 2018

Officials and everyday Iowans mourned the loss of Governor Robert Ray Sunday, July 8.

Gov. Ray served consecutive terms from 1969 to 1983 as the 38th governor of Iowa. He was a Republican, but despite his political stance, he was loved and respected by Iowans for his work in diversity, humanitarianism, and a legacy of leadership.

“From my years in the statehouse through my first term in the U.S. Senate, I witnessed Gov. Ray strengthen the grassroots of our party, make Iowa a better place to grow, and build our state’s economy,” said Senator Chuck Grassley.

When Gov. Ray’s family confirmed his passing from natural causes, officials from every corner of the state came forward. The Republican and Democratic designation made no difference to everyone’s mourning, and appreciation of Gov. Ray.

“Governor Ray’s courageous and compassionate leadership serves as an example to us all,” said Democratic gubernatorial candidate Fred Hubbell. “He was an Iowan first, always putting what was best for the people and this state above all else. A testament to this, was his constant work across the aisle to push and pass landmark accomplishments like collective bargaining for Iowa workers, the Iowa Bottle Bill to clean up Iowa roads, and his welcoming of war-torn refugees that have enriched Iowa communities.”

Governor Kim Reynolds and Lt. Governor Adam Gregg sent out their condolences, prayers and thoughts to the family left behind including Gov. Ray’s wife Billie, his three daughters and his eight grandchildren. He suffered from Parkinson’s towards the end, but passed peacefully at Wesley Acres home.

“His civility, courage and common-sense governing set a high standard for those who followed,” Gov. Reynolds said.

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