Lifelong El Dorado resident Raymond Valadez died Monday (Jan. 13, 2020) at the Kansas Veterans Home in Winfield. He was 97 years of age.

Raymond was born February 6, 1922, in El Dorado, the son of Miguel and Andrea (Ramirez) Valadez. He was the middle of 7 children born to this union.

He grew up in El Dorado and graduated with the high school class of 1940. After high school he went to Electrician school.

In June of 1942, Raymond was united in marriage to Mary Alejos in El Dorado.

In July of 1942, Raymond entered the U.S. Navy and was honorably discharged in October 1945. After the service he began working For the Railroad on the repair and maintenance gang. He would later be promoted to assistant Forman before his retirement.

Raymond enjoyed carpentry, working in his garden, and going fishing. He was an avid reader of the newspaper and magazines.

In 2016, he and his son-in-law Glen Gaines were two veteran honored by taking the Military Honor Flight to Washington, D.C., a trip he thoroughly enjoyed and left honored to be part of.

Preceding Raymond in death were his parents, his loving wife Mary, and siblings Jamie Valadez, Reek Valadez, Pauline Ray, Mary Arredondo, Victor Valadez, and Verna Lane.

Surviving family members include his children Florence Blank and her husband Tom of Katy, Texas, Mary Gaines and her husband Glen of Ft. Collins, Colorado, Stella Bolt and her husband Larry of Derby, Patricia Smith and her husband Jim Linn of Kannapolis, North Carolina, and Raymond Valadez Jr. of California. Also surviving are five grandchildren Reylene Cotter and her husband Sheb, Thomas Blank and his wife Jennifer, Mark Gaines, Melissa Gaines, and Christine Dibben and her husband Eric. Five great-grandchildren Brittney Cotter, Rachel Cotter, Dillon Gaines, Lindsey Gaines and Lindsey Hill.

Funeral services were Friday, Jan. 17 at Carlson Funeral Home in El Dorado. Burial with Military Honors was in the Sunset Lawns Cemetery in El Dorado.

Friends may share condolences online with the family at www.carlsoncolonial.com