Waltrip Funeral Directors

1415 Campbell Road, Houston, TX


Ray Zuehlke

October 30, 1926June 26, 2020
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Ray Zuehlke, 93, was born on October 30, 1926 in Flat, TX and passed away on June 26, 2020 in Brenham, TX.

Ray’s childhood years were farming and picking cotton. At the age of 18 he was called to serve his country in World War II. He was in the 12th grade when he was drafted into the US Army and went to Ft. Hood for basic training. Ray was then shipped to the South Pacific where he was part of Company A, 186th Infantry, 41st Division. He was aboard the first ship to arrive in Nagasaki after the atomic bomb was dropped. He stood up and loved the United States of America, he went to fight for his country and considered it an honor and a privilege.

After the Army, he moved back to Houston and began working with his brother Bill. He then met his lovely wife, Laura Belle and they were married on August 25, 1951. Ray went on to start his own business Zuehlke Drywall. The most important aspect of his work was never the quantity but the quality, and his care and respect for his employees.

Advent Lutheran church was an extremely important part of his life, he served in many ways; Council, Committees, Building Projects and Youth. His most enjoyable time was taking the Youth on their yearly retreats to his Latium Ranch.

Ray was an avid outdoorsman and hunter, he hunted all across the state of Texas, he was always proud when he would get a “Wall Hanger”. He enjoyed sponsoring a soft ball team, the Zuehlke Drywall Shamrocks. He was so proud and gave them a big thumbs up when they finished second in state. Ray was very involved in all of his children’s activities, especially the FFA. The family always had a yearly, two full week vacation, they traveled throughout the United States. One of the dreams Ray and Laura had was to travel abroad which they did later in life.

He treasured his 17 grandchildren and his 16 great-grandchildren, they would gather around him every Christmas to open that special gift that he chosen for each of them. Ray was preceded in death by his loving wife, Laura Belle Zuehlke. He is survived by his children, Scarlett Hovland and husband Kenneth, Sharon Grimes and husband, Bob, Lloyd Zuehlke and wife, Teresa, Debra Dahmann and Diana Brown. Also surviving are his loving grandchildren and great grandchildren. There is a private burial for immediate family on Tuesday, June 30th at 11:00 am .

A Celebration of Life Service will be held at Advent Lutheran Church, service information will be announced at a later date.

Ray was known for his love of family, his love of friendships, and his unwavering love of God until the very end. He is also known for his story telling and “Rayisms” which will be celebrated at a future date. He showed us things not known by Kings.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Ray Zuehlke

have a memory or condolence to add?

Diane Jaehne

July 2, 2020

I have known the Zuehlke family for most of my life thru our church Advent Lutheran. I used to baby sit their 4 oldest children. I love their family and am blessed by their friendship. I have missed Ray at Advent when he moved to the country as I sure missed Laura when she passed away. Great people they were and their love and guidance shines thru their 5 children.
When I married my husband I discovered Ray rented a room from Darrel's grandparents when he got out of the service. As they say, small world. To Scarlett, Sharon, Lloyd, Debra and Diana I grieve with you and send my deepest sympathies. A life well lived is at rest. May God comfort you and bring peace to your heart in the difficult days ahead. Love Diane ❤

Sharon Zuehlke Grimes

July 1, 2020

My dad and mom made sure we were brought up in a Christian home. Through our home church we have made lifetime friends. After my mom passed my Dad told me “I’ll be okay, I have Jesus sitting right next to me “ My dad was a great inspiration and taught me to “Walk in Faith, Trust in Love”.
This Fourth of July we will have fireworks that shoot to Heaven! He loved celebrating and we will continue that tradition!! I love you dad!

Tanya Brandt Steele

June 30, 2020

Zuehlke family, know that my thoughts and prayers are with each and every one of you! I remember when my Dad and your Dad would take fishing trips to the coast, we have pictures, I'll have to find some to share with you all. May God's Blessings be with you, and give you all peace knowing that your Dad is back with your Mom; and what a great place to be on that high hill in Latium, Texas!
The sunrises and sunsets are beautiful here, they will enjoy them for an eternity!

Randy & Jerry Redmon

June 29, 2020

Ray I know that you are up in Heaven telling stories of all of us you left behind here .
It was a honor and pleasure to know you and to have worked with you thru the years.
Prayers to the Zuehlke family

Erin Tisdel

June 29, 2020

I grew up down the street from the Zuehlke’s. There home was my second home. Diana and I spent 99% of our childhood together, so Mr. Z was my “other” dad. I went everywhere with them. Not only did we grow up on the same street, go to the same schools, we also went to Advent Lutheran Church together. They had there place in the front pew on the left hand side of the church. If someone else would sit there, I thought they must be new here. I went on vacations with them. The most memorable one was to Nashville and Alabama. We went to Opryland. It was late and Diana and I got stuck on a ride when a storm came through. We stayed on that ride for hours. Mr. and Mrs. Z looked for us throughout Opryland until 3:00 in the morning. We had so much fun on this trip and they put up with so much. I remember him dropping us off at dances before we were old enough to drive. All the trips to Latium for the weekend. The trips to the beach. I recall one time Diana and I hit something in the road in her moms Buick Park Avenue . We were in the McDonalds Drive thru and the car started smoking. Mr. Z came to rescue us. The car had a hole in the gas tank. He got it going so we could drive it. Diana and I headed for Mr. Z’s truck thinking oh he’ll drive it. He looked at us and said “Oh no.... you broke it... you drive it! I’ll follow you.” He made us laugh even when we messed up. After all we put him through, he always came to our rescue, dropped us off, picked us up and let us spend as much time together as we possibly could. From school days, confirmations, weddings and births I was a part of the Zuehlke family and it was because Mr. and Mrs Z treated me as their own. Their blonde headed kid from down the street.

Thinking of all of you as you lay your Dad/Pawpaw to rest this week. Remember all the fun times and cherish the memories. He was a GREAT Dad, Pawpaw and friend to many.

Brian Gilliam

June 29, 2020

The drywall industry brought me and my family to the Houston area in 1988. Ray welcomed me as a distributor of wallboard products into his office where we would spend much time talking about family, fishing, hunting, and everything country. Ray would listen to our stories of raising three children, through their FFA, baseball, swim teams and everything country. He would tell me of raising his children, and it was too clear that we both had similar habits, and hobbies, but mostly what we had in common was our love for family. He loved talking about hunting. I loved listening.
Tragedy stuck our family when our son chad was killed in a car accident in 2000. Ray would call me at home at night to check on me and Kim and our gilrls, and just to talk to me. He shared my pain, knowing my family through our many talks. It comforted me in so many ways. I became ill years later and entered the hospital needing a heart transplant. Ray would call me all hours, day and night at the hospital, to raise my spirits, comfort me, and just to check on me.

This is the kind of man Ray Zuehlke was. He welcomed strangers, and treated them like family. He would share that unique voice when it was needed the most.
He would try and remove pain from those sad, sick or suffering.

Ray, this world will miss you my friend. I know you're right where you want to be right now and please tell my boy chad I said hey.

My greatest thoughts and sincere prayers are out to the family, and friends of this veteran and kind soul

Brian and Kimberly
Jamie & Jessica

(jeremy chad in spirit)

Keith Stewart

June 29, 2020

The world has lost a good man. All of my dealings with Ray were on a business basis, and when I think about him two words come to mind -- dependable and honorable. When I told my wife about Ray's death, the first thing she said was, "He was a good man", and so he was.

Doana Fite

June 29, 2020

We always spoke of Ray as Curly. My mother always called him Curly, and so did we. He had the prettiest, sincere smile and you could tell it came from a good heart. In my mother's photo album was a wedding picture of Curly and Laura Bell with my Grandma Weiss. Their genuine happy smiles have always been an inspiration to me. That is what true love and happiness looks like.
Curly was always kind, attentive and welcoming to us at Weiss Family Reunions, which was really our only interactions, ever. But even that limited contact let me know my instincts, based on that wedding photo, were right about this very good man.
You have been richly blessed to have him present in your life for such a long time, as I can tell you are aware. I know he will be missed, but also many happy memories remain. Yes, I know he and Laura Bell are dancing in Heaven.

Floyd Jr Zuehlke

June 28, 2020

My favorite memories of Ray are when he and my dad, Floyd Zuehlke, would get together to visit. From the big smiles I saw on each other’s faces when they saw each other, to the interesting and many times funny conversations I overheard as they visited.
. Being first cousins of almost the exact same age, both veterans of WWII in the Pacific and then both building contractors, they had so very much in common. Combine all of that with that “special Zuehlke mindset” and they were two peas in a pod, that really enjoyed there visits.
Ray was a very special person with the unique quality of having an unforgettable, positive, and very memorable impact on everyone who got to know him even if only for just a little bit. My heart hurts knowing he has passed away and I will miss him very much. But I know he is in a much better place in heaven, a place we can all unite again one day and all share each other’s company again with our Father in Heaven.
My deepest condolences to all of you Scarlet, Lloyd, Sharon, Debra, and Diana, as well as all of your children and grandchildren.
Your dad was a very special man and it is so wonderful you all have so many great memories you can cherish forever!!
God’s Blessings,
Floyd Zuehlke Jr.

Steve Davis

June 28, 2020

I first knew Zuehlkes back in the early sixties when they moved to Youpon Grove subdivision in Fairbanks where the Lee and Stella Davis family lived. They were awesome folks. They became good friends to my mom and Dad and all us kids became friends. Time has a way of moving us away from great people we know. But I was lucky to get a chance to visit with Ray in the health care facility he was staying a while back in Brenham. He still had that twinkle in his eyes. We had a great conversation about the great memories. He also shared some stories about his Service which made me feel in awe of what he did. I was blessed to have those few minutes and to have known him. God’s Peace Zuehlke’s. Steve Davis