Ray Whetzel

Ray R. Whetzel

November 25, 1932 - November 23, 2019
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Relatives and friends are invited to Ray's Life Celebration on Saturday, December 7, 2019 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the KALAS FUNERAL HOME & CREMATORY, 6160 Oxon Hill Road, Oxon Hill, MD 20745. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association at
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  • Visitation

    Saturday, December 7th, 2019 | 2:00pm - 4:00pm
    Saturday, December 7th, 2019 2:00pm - 4:00pm
    Kalas Funeral Home & Crematory - Oxon Hill
    6160 Oxon Hill Road
    OXON HILL, MD 20745
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    All are welcome to attend Ray's Celebration of Life. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association at


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David Kipple

Posted at 01:33pm
I met Mr Ray through Dale Buffington - Dale and I worked together @ the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Plant in Lusby, Maryland - Dale and Mr Ray would get together @ Dale's home in Chesapeake Beach, Maryland - There they would work on different wooden duck decoys - Mr Ray and Dale both are World Class carvers & both have won numerous awards for their decoys; ducks, shorebirds, fish and any other thing that would come to mind (Mr Ray was at one time working to help restore Carrousel Horses) - And me, being a part time antique collector & having a degree in American history, it didn't take long to discover that I was no carver, but I wanted to learn about working decoys due to their great historic significance & how the people that made them didn't consider them as art, but as tools, to help feed their families during a hard time.
But this is a story about Mr Ray, & I need to share it with everyone - I believe this storied moment is just a small capsule of what this man would do for others (Mr Ray was a great teacher & mentor to a lot of younger carvers too) - One day I was reading "The Antique News", and there was an article on a wooden weather vane - It was of a Cod fish that had sold at auction for $73,000 - I cut the article out and took it to Mr Rays one day and told him "Look Mr Ray the way you can make things look old, you could copy one of these and sell it at one of your shows" (Mr Ray would never try and pass his work off as old) - Well let me tell you this; after I left Mr Ray that day he sat down and started carving a copy of the weather vane @ half size (the original was 8' in length) and on my birthday, January 16th, he presented it to me - You know that there's nothing that can beat a handmade gift - I will always treasure that Cod fish weather vane & it will be past on to one of my other family member after I'm gone!!!
I miss my friend already & the one thing that eases my mind is that I know Mr Ray is in a lot better place, feeling no pain & now has all the time in the world, no, strike that word world, and make it Haven to do whatever he wants with GOD'S wood & paints!!
Love you my friend, hope to see ya @ the next meeting - Your friend @ all times.
David Kipple - Cypher Beach, Pennsylvania.


BJ France

Posted at 09:01am
I met Ray through the Northern Virginia Carvers club at a decoy carving seminar. He was an exquisite carver and always willing to share his knowledge and help the beginners along. When painting a bird, you paint over everything, eyes included. I never forget Ray telling me with great softness and sensitivity in his voice: "when you scrape the paint off the eyes, that is when the birds really come to life". Ray frequently displayed his carvings at NVC meetings as in these photos from 2015. He was an inspiration, a mentor and a friend.

Bob Pombrio

Posted at 07:35pm
I'll always remember the most laid back father around who let me slide for my grand front yard debacle. Rest well Ray.

Posted at 02:51pm
We the Wade Johnson’s family got to know a great Man and friend . Never forget him and cherish memories we had with him.

Willa Peters Posted at 09:42am

We met Mr. Wetzel in January 1993 when we became neighbors. Mr. Whetzel was the best neighbor and friend that my family could be blessed with. We enjoyed our conversations... and the wisdom that he always shared. He welcomed my family to the community and offered to help in any way that he could. There is a link broken/missing in our community. We will miss you ...your cheerful smile that always brightened our days. We will miss you tremendously! Rest in Heavenly Peace. Your neighbors: Robert, Dianne, Willa, Edward & Amir

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