Raymond T. Lueb

Raymond T. Lueb

1923 – 2023

Raymond “Ray” Theodore Lueb, 100, passed away peacefully on October 18, 2023. Raymond was an honored member of the Edmond community, a loving family man, a successful independent business owner, and a Marine veteran of World War II. Born on October 14, 1923, in Lindsay, Texas, as the sixth child in his family, Ray was the son of Mary (Schmidt) Lueb and Henry Lueb. He was originally marked as “Unknown Lueb” on his birth certificate – a story he would often share with a smile.

Putting aside a farming deferment, Ray answered the call of duty in 1944 and joined the U.S. Marine Corps. Serving in the 27th Marines, 5th Marine Division, training was rigorous and filled with memorable incidents. Ray’s habit of placing his hands in his pockets led to a unique punishment from his sergeant — carrying pockets full of sand.

His role in the 27th Marines, 5th Marine Division, placed him on the front lines near Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima, navigating the treacherous black volcanic sands under enemy fire during one of the highest-casualty and most difficult battles of the entire war.

His bond with fox-hole buddy, Louie Hinrichs, was unbreakable. The two men remained in touch for the rest of their lives, meeting with fellow Iwo Jima Marines annually as they grew older. Together, Ray and Louie faced near-misses, like running across an airstrip under enemy fire to deliver ammunition or mistaking the scent of a Japanese raincoat for an impending enemy assault.

During the Battle of Iwo Jima, flares were sent up to illuminate the night sky and terrain below for better targeting. The flares made their slow, illuminating descent back to earth hanging from white silk parachutes. One day during a lull in the battle, Ray gathered up several of the parachutes and set his creative talents to work, drawing pictures and writing poems. The parachutes are preserved by the family. In his later years, Ray would later channel that same creativity into painting sunsets and photography.

One of Ray’s defining moments came when a fire broke out at his mortar position located in a crater. To adjust the range on the mortar, Marines ripped “increments” off a mortar round (four waterproof cellophane bags of propellant) which adjusted the force of the explosion behind the shell and the range a mortar would travel. During the battle, a burning increment from a discharging shell found its way onto a pile of discarded increments in Ray’s position, setting them afire. Next to these were ammunition stores and two more mortar positions in the same crater.

Someone yelled “Fire!” and those in the position, except Ray, scurried to the top of the crater. Ray told himself, “Lueb, there is no way you are going to outrun this fire before it explodes” so he quickly picked up a shovel and started fighting the fire with sand. The last two men up the crater wall, his foxhole buddies Louie Hinrichs and Sam Moore, glanced back and saw what Ray was doing. They risked their lives to return to the bottom and assist him in fighting the fire before it reached the ammunition stores. Their courage prevented a catastrophic explosion, saving numerous lives. All three received valor citations.

Returning home after the war, Ray married Antonia (née Friske), and the newlyweds left north Texas to relocate to the Oklahoma City area in the post-war boom years, where they remained and raised a family in Midwest City and Edmond. Ray worked as a cabinet maker, a master carpenter and foreman, before he and his wife Tonie established a successful construction business of their own in Edmond and Oklahoma City in the 1960s, framing custom homes. The pair enjoyed traveling in their middle years, including cruises and several trips to Hawaii.

Generations of young men within or connected to Ray’s extended family worked for him on job sites in their high school and college years, learning his strong work ethic. Men who worked for him remember marveling at his ability to drive a 16-penny nail into lumber with one or two expert blows of his hammer. Lawyers, architects, restaurateurs, and journalists all learned basic carpentry from him as young men. His work as a carpenter continued well into his 80s, when he worked on custom projects on historic homes.

Ray’s love of gardening reflected his own farming childhood. Every year, Ray and his wife worked together to plant a summer and fall vegetable garden on his five-acre property, sharing an abundance of tomatoes, turnips, potatoes, peanuts, cantaloupe and other produce with family and friends. A painting created by his daughter, Darlene, depicts Ray driving his signature orange tractor with a grandson along for the ride. He also raised cattle for beef every year well into his 90s. His grandson, Damon, who lived with Ray and his grandmother for several summers in high school, remembers suppers of fresh produce and beef coming almost entirely from the five acres of land around them.

A funeral Mass will be held for Ray on November 10 at 10:30 am at Saint John the Baptist Catholic Church in Edmond. A Rosary service will be held at Matthews Funeral Home in Edmond at 6 p.m. on November 9.

Ray was predeceased by his beloved wife of 54 years, Antonia Mae Lueb, his eldest son, Ronald Henry Lueb, grandchild Tyler Lueb, and his parents. He is survived by his children, Richard J. Lueb and Darlene Gardenhire, seven grandchildren (Damon, Kathleen, Jennifer, Eric Jason, Brian and Karin) and 14 great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations to Folds of Honor, a charity that reflects Ray’s lifelong commitment to service and community.

A Marine, a mentor, a carpenter, a gardener, a husband, father and grandfather, Raymond Lueb is remembered by his family for his quiet strength, his constant whistling, his dry wit — and, most of all, his love.

To live stream the service please use the following link

1 thought on “Raymond T. Lueb”

  1. Great Uncle Ray- will always remember the camping trips our families took together when I was a young probably to the age of 17. Always so much fun. Will remember the birthdays celebrated together with Dolores (mom) and Trevor ( great great nephew ) at the house. Thank you for being part of my kids lives . From first communion , birthdays, conformations, high school graduations. You lived a full life of fun and adventure . The celebration has began in heaven . You will be missed ❤️

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