Ray Kelley Kliewer
Ray Kelley Kliewer was born to Daniel H. and Anna K. Kliewer on June 20, 1944 in Bakersfield, California.
His childhood was spent on the family farm in Bakersfield until his parents moved to Kingsburg in 1957. He placed his faith in Christ Jesus as his Savior as a young child and at the age of 10 was baptized into membership at the Rosedale Mennonite Brethren Church by Pastor P.N. Hiebert. In 1962, he graduated from Kingsburg High School and moved on to attend Fresno Pacific College.
While attending Fresno Pacific, a young lady named Loralee Weinbrenner caught his eye. She would soon capture his heart as well and in the fall of 1965 he asked her to marry him. Then, on July 1st, 1966, at the Reedley First Mennonite Church they were joined together in a marriage that would last 43 years.
Shortly after they were married, the Lord called the young couple to Japan where they served their country and their church for three years caring for the children of missionaries at a boarding school as well as teaching conversational English. Returning home, the Lord led him to finish his education at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Sciences with an emphasis in Industrial Refrigeration in 1971.
One of the greatest joy’s in Ray’s life was becoming a father. His son, Jay Kenan was born in 1972. Two daughters followed shortly thereafter. Danna Lorene was born in 1975 and Christina Renee was born in 1977. Spending time with his family, especially on trips taken together to Italy and later to Germany, was something that he always treasured and talked about when looking back on his life. The love he had for his children was exceeded only by his love for his wife. The expression of this adoring love for their mother was one of the greatest gifts that he could give to his children.
Knowing and following his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ was always first priority in Ray’s life. Each day began before sunrise with Bible study and prayer. Commitment to the Lord and family also meant commitment to church. Upon moving to the area in 1981, Dinuba Mennonite Brethren Church became the family’s home for worship, fellowship and service. Over the years, Ray served the church in many capacities, as deacon, choir & worship team member, Sunday School teacher, and board & church council member. He found great joy in serving and also in encouraging others to do the same.
In 1984, once again after much prayer and seeking after God’s will, Ray took a leap of faith and started a refrigeration contracting business (CalCA) out of his garage on a small 5-acre raisin farm in Dinuba where he had moved the family a few years earlier. Running a business was often a struggle, but through CalCA, the Lord allowed Ray not only to provide for his own family, but to also touch and have a positive impact on countless others locally in the San Joaquin Valley and globally as far as India and China. Today that small company that he started provides a living for nearly 30 families who are grateful and appreciative of the care and concern he showed to each and every one of them.
In 1991 Ray had his first battle with melanoma cancer in which he saw a victory. Thirteen years later, in 2004 it appeared again which, though temporarily overcome, would ultimately take his life five years later. And so, on July 11, 2009, at his residence in Dinuba, shortly after midnight, Ray was taken home to heaven to be with his Lord. He is predeceased in death by his parents Daniel and Anna Kliewer of Kingsburg. He is survived by his wife Loralee, his son Jay and his wife Lisa and their children, Jared age 5 and Adeline age 3, of Kingsburg, his daughter Danna Kliewer of San Jose and his daughter Christina Kliewer of Monterey. He is also survived by his sister Penninah and her husband Vern Weaver, his brother Pete Kliewer and his wife Dora Mae, his brother Paul Kliewer and his wife Rachel, and his sister Eileen Karber as well as many well loved nieces and nephews.