It is with great sadness that we tell you that Ray Vietti, husband of Interim President Jackie Vietti, died Dec. 24, 2015. Below is the full obituary as printed today in the Wichita Eagle. Condolences to the Vietti family can be sent to Jackie Vietti, 1235 Glenview Drive, El Dorado, KS 67042.
PITTSBURG — Vietti, Raymond Eugene. Passed away Dec. 24, 2015. He was born Oct. 14, 1947, at his parents' home in Pittsburg, Kansas.
He attended St. Mary's Grade School and Colgan High School and graduated from Pittsburg State University in 1969 with a degree in Automotive Technology. In his youth, he worked at Vietti Auto Body Shop, his parents' business.
Following his graduation from Pittsburg State University, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army. After being stationed at Fort Knox, he served in Vietnam with the 7th Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment in the 1st Aviation Brigade as a helicopter pilot, where he received several decorations, including the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross. After an honorable discharge from the military, he embarked on a 40-plus year career in the automotive and insurance industries.
He is survived by his spouse of 45 years, Jackie Basham Vietti of El Dorado, KS; five children, Dana Vietti M.D., Columbia, MO, Angela Vietti O'Kane (Steve), Shawnee, KS, Mike Vietti (Emily), Lenexa, KS, James Vietti, Washington, DC, and Chris Vietti (Rosario), Tulsa, OK; and four grandchildren, Sophie, Arthur, Audrey and Penelope. In addition to his immediate family, he is survived by his two brothers, Tony Vietti (Joyce), Pittsburg, KS, and Tom Kazmierski, Joplin, MO, and stepbrothers, Jim (Twalla) and Len Kazmierski.
He has been blessed with the extended families of EMC Insurance Company, where he was employed for 18 years, and Butler Community College. He was an avid Grizzlies supporter. He is preceded in death by his mother, Minnie Vietti Kazmierski; father, Mike Vietti; brother, Michael Vietti; and nephew, Johnny Vietti.
Upon retirement, Ray could often be found relaxing on his back porch with a cigar in one hand and a bourbon in the other. He also enjoyed spending time with his family, amusing his friends on social media, meeting with the EMC Lunch Bunch, and driving Miss Daisy to meetings and social engagements as well as participating in Great Courses related to military history.
Those privileged to know and love him will remember his selflessness, generosity, caring, kindness and unwavering support. His children, grandchildren and friends will miss his endearing sense of humor and gentle heart.
Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 29, at Carlson Funeral Home, El Dorado. Funeral Mass will be 1 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 30, at St. John Catholic Church, El Dorado. In lieu of flowers, contributions to: Ray and Jackie Vietti Student Success Scholarship Fund at Butler Community College, c/o Carlson Colonial Funeral Home, El Dorado, 200 S Star Street, El Dorado, KS 67042.