Raymond Ellars was born in Santa Ana, California, on August 22, 1925, to Jess Ellars and Thelma Burgess; he was the second of their four children. He grew up in southern California, primarily in the Long Beach area.

Ray joined the United States Navy in 1942 and served in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Later in life, he would become an avid supporter of his fellow veterans both at home and abroad.

After the war, Ray worked in RV sales and service up and down the west coast, from Idaho to Reno. He moved to Eugene in 1968. Ray married Phyllis Peters in 1974, and they celebrated their 35th anniversary in Kauai a few months before he passed.

Ray was a fierce supporter of his family. One of his happiest moments was the birth of his son, Michael. Ray was also ecstatic to see Michael marry Natalee Greene in Los Angeles in January 2009.

Ray was an enthusiastic bowler, hunter, fisher, reader and historian. Physical disabilities eventually limited his outdoor activities, but his love of books and learning never diminished. Not one to accept limitations, Ray had recently converted his love of the outdoors to playing various sports games on the Wii video game console.

(This biography is a work-in-progress. The preceding was adapted from the biography printed for his memorial services.)

Lovingly handcrafted by Michael Ellars with help from Natalee and Phyllis.