February 14, 1926 – November 20, 2019
Allen Ray Demaris, 93, a life-long resident of Prineville, passed away at his home from complications of a long, well-lived life. A graveside service will be held on December 2 at 10 a.m. at Juniper Haven Cemetery (1555 N. Main Street) followed by a luncheon at Prineville Presbyterian Church (1771 NW Madras Hwy). In lieu of flowers, please adopt an animal or support the Humane Society of the Ochocos.
Ray was born at Rail Holler just off Allen Creek to Charles Jess and Phyllis (Traver) Demaris on February 14, 1926. He spent his early years in the McKay Creek area attending the Allen Creek School and at a young age, leaving school to work in the timber industry with his dad. He was a Marine machine gunner and sharp shooter in World War II, in the Pacific theatre on Okinawa where he received a Purple Heart.
Following the war, he returned to Prineville and began a long career working as a timber faller. His size and strength were assets that served him well. The Demaris family was influential in various aspects of the timber industry and Ray worked along with his brother Wayne and other relatives and crews nearly always in the Central Oregon region. He was privileged to enjoy the boom days of Prineville’s wood industry.
Ray married and had two daughters, Patty and Sandy. His second marriage brought sons, Gene and Gary Miller, a daughter, Debbie Miller and a baby son, Greg, adopted by Ray. Later (by marriage) a son, Danny Brown and two daughters, Lori Desjardins and Julie Starr completed his large family.
A champion for animals, Ray said he collected halters, which happened to come with horses. He was known for his buckskin bred horses and, was proud of his stud named “King.” He often reminisced that at one time he had over 200 head of horses, some of which he supplied as bucking horses at the local rodeos. He also was known to have fed many horses that he found starving or without adequate food supplies. He served a number of years on the Crooked River Round-up Board, and often rode his horse carrying the American flag in the parades.
At one time, Ray had a successful logging business and after the workday, his large green pickup could be spotted outside Barr’s Café, affectionately known as his “office.” He also loved his dogs and was sometimes feeding and caring for an inordinate number with favorites Fitzgerald, Kirsta, George and Peppy Lou, who is still at home.
In Prineville, he is survived by his wife Mary and brother Wayne, daughters Lori Desjardins (Kevin) and Julie Starr; son Danny Brown of Bonanza, OR; son Gene Miller (Karen) of Charlton, MA; son Gary Miller (Laura) of LeMars, IA; daughter Debbie Miller of Manchester, CT; many grandchildren, great grandchildren and one great great granddaughter. He was especially proud of his great grandson, Mason Allen Ray Demaris, currently serving in the United States Marine Corps in Virginia.
Ray was proceeded in death by his mother, Phyllis James; his father, Charles Jess Demaris; stepfather, Floyd James; daughters, Patty Friermood and Sandy Easton; son, Greg Demaris; brothers, Royce, Jimmy and Jess Jr. Demaris; sisters, Fay Landers and Jean Hunter; and grandsons, Darrin and Travis Demaris.
Ray was a good man, loved and respected by many, large in stature and heart, strong and gentle, friendly and full of fun by nature. He will be greatly missed and always remembered by his family and friends.
Whispering Pines Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. 3168 NE 3rd Street - Prineville, Oregon 97754 (541) 416-9733
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