Arthur Ray Panter, 84, of Bandon, went to be with his Lord March, 10, 2022 in Eugene. Ray was born September 17, 1937 in Coquille, Oregon to Leland & Edith Panter.
Ray was born into a Coos County pioneer family as there were three families in the county in 1856 when the family horses died and thus they became early settlers.
Ray was a graduate of Oregon Technical Institute with a diesel mechanic degree. He not only worked on diesel vehicles but drove well over 1 million miles as both an off highway and long-haul truck driver. He was one of a few drivers who could back a “set of doubles”.
As a member of an elite US Army unit, he received combat training that was the forerunner of the green beret units of today. He served post-war in Korea.
The annual Men’s Roundup was where Ray formed his relationship with his Lord. He was a founding member of Friendship Baptist Church in Heppner, Oregon where the family lived for 20 years. Ray was also a long-time elder and member of Faith Baptist Church in Bandon.
Love of camping and community service were combined in retirement as Ray and his wife volunteered as BLM campground hosts for over 15 years. Nine years were at Edson Creek on the Sixes River and six years were in Alaska at the Yukon River, the Arctic Circle and Coldfoot. They were the furthest north campground hosts in North America. In 2013 they were named National Volunteers of the year by the BLM and received presidential recognition.
Ray is survived by his wife of over 50 years, Linda, of Bandon; daughters Sarena & Jack Ganzhorn of Port Angeles, WA; Averille & Mark Cupples of Sac City, Iowa; 12 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, sisters Donna and Judy and great-granddaughter, Lindsey.
A Celebration of Ray’s life will be held 1:00 p.m., April 23, 2022 at Faith Baptist Church, Bandon.
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