Ray Senn, a devoted runner and cyclist, award-winning ski and motocross racer, dedicated ski instructor, accomplished car salesman and all-around MVP of a dad, ended his final tour on Tuesday, June 4, 2019. He was 86.
Born Ramon Henry Senn on May 30, 1933, in Loveland, Colorado to Hulda (Miller) and Henry Senn, Ray moved with his parents to Aloha, Oregon, on Sept. 1, 1939. He would remain near Portland for much of his life gathering friends through long road trips on his bicycle, skiing excursions and through his work as a salesman for Herzog-Meier Volvo Autocenter in Beaverton.
Ray graduated from high school completed coursework at Portland State College, and also served as a ski instructor at Ski Bowl on Mount Hood. He served in ROTC prior to being drafted into the U.S. Navy in June 1956 and served as a storekeeper general on the aircraft carrier the USS Philippine Sea, and stationed in Adak, Alaska, during the Korean War. Ray left the service in 1958, initially working at a model plane factory before beginning work at Tektronix in Beaverton where he met his wife, Belva Ann Yoss.
The couple had two daughters, Marianne (Guenther Bornhoft) and Molly Rae (Rahe). Working for Herzog-Meier, Ray sold luxury cars, including a Christmas Eve delivery to Nike founder Phil Knight, complete with red gift bow. His sales prowess earned Ray international recognition, and as a top Volvo salesperson he went on a jet setting trip to Bermuda and Sweden to celebrate his award. He later worked for Fisher Volvo in Portland before finishing his career with Herzog-Meier.
Ray remained devoted to his daughters, in the summers going camping, taking them on trips to the beach or out on the family’s boat. In the winters they went skiing. He was also an award-winning motocross racer in the 1960s. Ray continued skiing after moving to Spokane in 2007 to be closer to his daughter, Marianne.
Friends will remember breakfast meetings at the IHOP on Sprague Avenue, where the servers knew Ray by name and an off-the-menu order, “Ray’s Rudy,” is named in his honor. A celebration of life will be held there Thursday, June 13, immediately following services at the Washington State Veterans Cemetery in Medical Lake at 1:15 p.m.
His friends and family will remember Ray’s zest for life, which can still be seen in a TV advertisement for the Coeur d’Alene Casino where Ray is jumping for joy. Even after a cycling accident caused him serious injuries in the mid 1990s, Ray continued to bike when he could, remembering a lifelong love affair with the sport that took his family to the miles of biking trails at Sunriver resort in Deschutes County, Oregon, each summer when his daughters were young.
Ray is survived by his daughters, Marianne Guenther Bornhoft (Chris) and Molly Rae Rahe (Marty Cutshaw); his ex-wife and lifelong friend, Belva Ann Yoss, and a sister, Eleanor Blair. He is also survived by seven grandchildren: Mary Guenther, Cameron Rahe, Betsy Rahe, Allison Erdman, Andrew Guenther, Ethan Bornhoft and Grayson Bornhoft. Services will be held at the Washington State Veterans Cemetery in Medical Lake, 21702 W. Espanola Road, at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, June 13. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to the nonprofit Beats and Rhythms, a camp for children with congenital heart disease. Donations may be made in Ray’s name and sent to P.O. Box 31522 Spokane, WA 99223.
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Beats and Rhythms
PO Box 31522, Spokane WA 99223