Photo: Ray Kotula of Morris 1929-2021

Ray Kotula 

Age 92, of Morris, IL passed away peacefully, Thursday, December 23, 2021.  He was born September 5, 1929, to the late Julia Helen (Woll) and Walter Kotula in Chicago, IL where he was raised and educated, a graduate of Kelly High School, class of 1947.  Ray, a U.S. Army Veteran, served during the Korean War receiving several medals, including the United Nations Medal for his work in opening orphanages in war torn Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 

Ray is the beloved partner and friend of Patricia "Pat" Cockream; loving father of Martin Kotula, Betty (Lance) Milner, the late Ronald Kotula and Mary (Steve) Kunde; dearest step-father of Jay (Kandi) Cockream, Jill (Ken) Bunker and the late Jeffrey Cockream; devoted grandpa of Matthew Milner (Julie), Kathryn (Jason) Libbey, Elizabeth (Mike) Roach, David (Robin) Kotula, Christopher Kotula, Josephine (Tyler) Bieda, Timothy Kunde, William Kunde; Danielle (Bennett) Gulling, Derek (Kayla) Cockream, Tori (Rory) Ellis and Tyler (Cheyenne) Bunker; great-grandpa of Jaylah, Zachary, Zoey, Octavia, and several step-great-grandchildren. Also surviving are a brother-in-law, Walter Mozdzierz, and his nieces and nephews. 

Preceded in death by his son, step-son, sister, Barbara Mozdzierz, and parents. 

Ray was employed by International Harvester as a Computer Systems Operator for many years.  He was also known as "Gramps" to many Morris area swimmers he coached over the years. His hobbies included woodworking and keeping a meticulous yard...he let no grass grow under his feet.  One of his greatest achievements was climbing Mt. Fujiyama in Japan, conversely, one of his more horrific moments was the quick descent down the mountain from slipping on a rock. 

Visitation for Ray will be held Wednesday, December 29, 2021, from 9:00 a.m. until services begin 10:30 a.m. at the Fred C. Dames Funeral Home, 1201 W. Rt. 6 (at Deerpath Drive) Morris.  Interment with Military Honors will follow at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood, IL. 

For more information please call (815) 942-5040 or visit his Memorial Tribute at www.fredcdames.com where you can share a favorite memory or leave a condolence.