Charles Raymond (Ray) Bartels passed away Saturday, Oct. 9 at the age of 79.
He was born June 30, 1942, to Charles Frank Bartels (Carl) and Ora Sarpy Bartels in New Orleans, LA.
Ray attended De La Salle High School in New Orleans and then graduated from USL (currently the University of Louisiana at Lafayette) in Lafayette, LA with a degree in Economics.
Ray followed his sweetheart, Gayle Marie Bone, originally from New Orleans but moved to Houston with her family and married her June 6, 1964. They made their little family in Houston with the arrival of their children, Ray and Laure.
Ray moved his family from Houston to Columbus in 1977 to open Columbus Welding Equipment. He loved the industry, the work, and the people. His company motto being “If we don’t have it, you don’t need it.” He made many friends and acquaintances along the way, successfully running his welding supply business for over 20 years. He sold Columbus Welding to Praxair then hit the road doing what he did best, sales. He spent several years selling industrial sand and grit until he fully retired.
Ray was an avid hunter, fisherman and what he may have been most well known for, an amazing cook. He spent many Christmas Eve’s frying turkeys for friends and family. His crawfish pot was always ready to boil, and he loved the time spent doing that and telling stories that truly entertained.
He and Gayle enjoyed many weekends traveling with their Prowler car group as well as many days along the Valley Lodge Trail ride. He relished his task of waking the trail riders blaring the Cattle Call tune through the sound truck speakers in the early morning hours.
Ray lived a large life, he was quick with a joke, a story or just some way to entertain and become the life of the party. He is survived by his wife, Gayle; son Ray Bartels and wife Pat, daughter Laure Restivo and husband Rick; grandchildren Brett Bartels of Kingwood, Emma Restivo of Denton, and Taylor Bartels of Austin. He is also survived by his sisters, Carol St Germain and Betty Tedesco and husband Ken of New Orleans Louisiana; and his brother Ronnie Bartels and wife June of The Woodlands. He also leaves a host of extended family in Louisiana, Georgia, and North Carolina.
Ray was preceded in death by his parents Carl and Ora, his brother Martin Bartels and brother-in-law Gilbert St Germain.
A memorial service celebrating his life will be held Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, at 2 p.m. at Henneke Funeral Home in Columbus. There will be a cake and coffee reception immediately following at St Roch Catholic Church parish hall in Mentz.
The family would like to thank Ms. Evelyn Johnson and Ms. Bobbie Jo Contreras for the care they gave to Ray and to Gayle. Memorials may be given to the charity of your choice.