Share |

Raymond B. Nockleby

Birth date: May 5, 1915
Death date: February 13, 2010




Raymond B. Nockleby, 94, a resident of the Kalispell area for more than 50 years, died Saturday, February 13 at Immanuel Lutheran Home

 Born May 5, 1915 in Russell, North Dakota to Renhard Nockleby and Lydia Schultz Nockleby, Ray spent the early years of his life helping his mother cope with his father Renhard’s illness and eventual death from tuberculosis, which his father had contracted in the wake of the great flu outbreak of 1918-19.The family eventually relocated to Fergus Falls, Minnesota, where Ray graduated from high school, and where his step-father, Otto Nockleby, operated the family farm. Ray attended a technical institute in Chicago and worked in the defense industry during World War II in Minneapolis, where he first met and later married the love of his life, Evelyn Bjorge, who was then working at the Lutheran Church headquarters.

Ray and Evelyn married on June 30, 1945 in Circle, Montana, and began a partnership with Evelyn’s parents on the family farm 20 miles north of Circle. 

In 1948, Ray and Evelyn moved their young family to suburban Portland, Oregon where Ray took a job as a draftsman with the Bingham Pump Company

 In 1959, having been impressed with the beauty of the Flathead and wanting to rear their five young boys on a family-owned farm, Ray and Evelyn moved to the Helena Flats area and operated a family farm for many years.

Ray was elected to the School Board of Helena Flats in the early 1960s, and was re-elected an additional term, and served as chairman of the school board during a period during which the school doubled in size.  

A lifelong Lutheran, Ray served on the church council and building committee of Calvary Lutheran Church in Evergreen during a major expansion begun under Pastor Rodney Kvamme in 1966. Ray was also a lifelong supporter of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, which had touched his life in Minneapolis and Portland days.  

Ray was a quiet but thoughtful inventor of mechanical products. He developed several hand and garden tools, and holds four patents. His drawings are precise and his tools are ingenious.  

In their retirement years beginning in 1982, trips to Arizona and travels throughout the U.S. to visit their sons and their families was a source of joy and fulfillment for both Ray and Evelyn.

Ray was preceded in death by his father, in 1923; his mother, in 1962; as well as his two younger sisters, Nellie and Aldine.

Ray is survived by his wife of nearly 65 years, Evelyn, and by his five sons, Brian, an insurance lawyer in Silver Spring, Maryland, and his wife Belinda; Robert, an area representative for Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, in Lakeside, and his wife Kathy; Donald, a neuropsychologist in Austin, Texas, and Phoenix, and his wife Jo Ann; Paul, an editor and publisher in St. Paul, Minnesota, and his wife Kathleen; and John, a professor of law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, and his wife Lucie; and by nine grandchildren.





Memorials to Raymond B. Nockleby may be directed to The Chapel Fund, Buffalo Hill Terrace, 40 Claremont Street, Kalispell, MT 59901; or to The Campership Fund, Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp, 603 Main Street, Kalispell, MT  59901.


A service for Raymond will be held Tuesday, February 16, at 2 pm at Northridge Lutheran Church in Kalispell, with reception following at Buffalo Hill Terrace.