OBITUARY

Raymond H. Dierkes

August 21, 1956March 5, 2019
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Raymond H. Dierkes, age 62, of Saint Louis, Missouri passed away on Tuesday March 5, 2019. Raymond was born August 21, 1956 in St Louis, Missouri.

Raymond is survived by his loving wife of 37 years, Patricia Dierkes; beloved children, Lisa (Raymond) Yaeger, Tammy Atkins, Tasha (Scott) Fischer; dear grandchildren, Ryan Yaeger, Chase Yaeger, Arielle Atkins, Gage Moeckel, Jacob Naucke, Chloe Fischer and great grandchildren Novah, Lylah, Frankie, and Sebastian. He was proceeded in death by his great-grandson AJ.

Raymond was a Veteran of the U.S. Navy. He was an avid reader of science fiction and lover of classic rock. He enjoyed hiking and being outdoors. Raymond retired after 38 years from Millipore Sigma.

Raymond dearly loved his family. He was known to constantly brag about his children and grandchildren. His love for and from his family filled his heart to the point it was no longer able to keep up. While he is missed we can’t forget how he loved us.

A visitation for Raymond will be held Sunday, March 10, 2019 from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM at Hoffmeister South County Chapel, 1515 Lemay Ferry Road, St. Louis, MO 63125. The funeral service will be Monday, March 11, 2019 at 12:00 PM, in the funeral home chapel. Following the funeral the interment is scheduled for 1 PM at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, 2900 Sheridan Rd, St Louis, MO 63125.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.HoffmeisterSouthCounty.com for the Dierkes family.

  • FAMILY

  • Patricia Dierkes, Wife
  • Lisa (Raymond) Yaeger, Daughter
  • Tammy Atkins, Daughter
  • Tasha (Scott) Fischer, Daughter
  • Ryan Yaeger, Grandson
  • Chase Yaeger, Grandson
  • Arielle Atkins, Granddaughter
  • Gage Moeckel, Grandson
  • Jacob Naucke, Grandson
  • Chloe Fischer, Granddaughter
  • Great Grandfather of Novah, Lylah, Frankie, Sebastian and the late AJ

Services

  • Visitation Sunday, March 10, 2019
  • Funeral Service Monday, March 11, 2019
  • Interment Monday, March 11, 2019
REMEMBERING

Raymond H. Dierkes

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Donna Corcoran

March 8, 2019


John and I had the pleasure of meeting both Ray and Patti when we first started working at Sigma Chemical quite a few years ago. Ray and I worked in the same department for about the first eight years of my career; he was my lead person, a great mentor and friend. We are very sad to hear the news. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Patti, his Daughters and extended family in that you find comfort during this difficult time.

With Deepest Sympathy,
Donna and John Corcoran

Kitty Nimmo

March 8, 2019

I have known Ray since we were young kids. Our families were neighbors and back then all the kids in the neighborhood spent summer days outside playing. Hide and seek, kick the can, water balloon fights and we even put on shows in Ray's basement. We were big fans of "The Little Rascals". We charged all the parents a penny for the show (they had to come) and made Kool-Aid to serve at intermission. There was an old half falling down garage in his back yard that no one used and when it rained we would play restaurant. Grass spaghetti with mud meatballs. Yum!

We all grew up and I was lucky enough to be neighbors again with Ray and Patti. Best neighbors ever!! We would sit outside and chat over the fence about life, we helped each other with yard work and they entertained my young daughter teaching her how to work the computer and doing crafts while I took care of ailing parents.

I miss all that and I'll miss you too Ray! You'll always be remembered fondly in so many of my memories.

Anne Stuckel

March 7, 2019

Ray was a kind and gentle man. He shared stories at work about his family. He loved all of you very much. My fondest memory of Ray was when he agreed to be the Man in the Yellow Hat from Curious George as part of a team building event. This photo is from 2007.

Thank you Ray for your service to our country and may you rest in peace.

Tyrone Bisch

March 7, 2019

Peace and love my brother. Thoughts and prayers to the Rayz Family! Youz was a cool man that would always give me a square when I was out or a ride home. I will pour some brew on the block for you every family outing. Much love to my homey Ray. I know he looking down on us in his cool cat way.

Yo friend T

Roland Doerr

March 7, 2019

My BEST FRIEND for over 30 years. I really thought we would have 30 more.
Ray, I'm really going to miss you. Rest in Peace my friend.

Kathleen Robbins

March 7, 2019

Ray was a great friend and colleague to us all at Sigma. I only had the pleasure of working with Ray for the last 5 of his almost 40 years at the company but we became great friends and he was always there for me to laugh with. I can still hear his infectious laugh. My heart goes out to Ray's family. He will truly be missed by all of his friends here.

Tasha Dierkes

March 7, 2019

My dad was the most caring and gentle man. He was understanding and compassionate. He would do anything for his family no matter what. I could always go to him for advice and he wouldn't hesitate to tell me i was wrong and how to fix it. He always told me the truth no matter what. I will treasure our long talks about space and music , our walks in the park, and our morning coffee. He to me is everything a man should be. He was my friend and an absolutely amazing father. Dad i love you and i miss you so much. You are forever in my heart. Love Tasha

Autumn Frano-Hoover

March 6, 2019

Ray was not only a co-worker he was a dear friend. I had the pleasure of working with him for years. I was deeply saddened to hear of his passing. Rest in peace my friend, you will be missed.

Tammy Atkins

March 6, 2019

You stood by my side regardless of all my mistakes, you love me beyond words and you have forgiven all my mistakes with love. I love you and I'll miss you every second of every day until I get to hug you again.
Love you to heaven and back -Tam (Boo-boo)

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Biography

Song: “Daddy’s Hands”

Good morning, everyone. My name is Elizabeth Zempel and it’s a privilege for me to be here today to celebrate the life of Raymond Dierkes; a devoted husband, a loving father, a precious grandpa and great-grandpa, a dear brother, a proud veteran, and a good friend.

Ray is the common denominator that brought you all here today.
When someone we love departs this life, it’s hard to wrap our heads around what it will be like to live in a world without him. You hold onto the last conversation you had with him, and wish there could have been more. You laugh through your tears at the jokes and funny moments you shared, the memories and conversations you had that comfort you now, and you feel terrible sorrow that there won’t be any more. So, a service like this gives us all the opportunity to grieve together, to share those memories with one another, and to realize that Ray touched each of your lives in unique and profound ways.

So, we’re all here, together, to acknowledge the importance of Ray’s life and the way he touched our world. Your presence, whether you are here because you were part of Ray’s life, or you are here to support one of his loved ones, means that Ray touched you, and you are giving his family the gift of your presence to stop and honor his time on this earth. So to all of you, on behalf of the family, thank you for being here. And may I make a request? For the next year, they will be going through all of the “firsts;” Ray and Patty’s 37th wedding anniversary is coming up in 10 days on the 20th; Father’s Day in June, Ray’s birthday in August; the first Thanksgiving, first Christmas, and so on. It will be up to you to remember Ray’s family at these times, and reach out to them, with calls and words of comfort. It’s what any of us would want….for our loved one and his impact on our lives to be remembered. And you don’t have to have the answers because there are no answers. Just be there with ears to listen and a shoulder to lean on.

**************************
Raymond Henry Dierkes came into this world on Tuesday, August 21, 1956, the son of Raymond C. and Myrtle O’Neal Dierkes. He grew up with his brother, Randy and three sisters in a one-bedroom house at 108 Mann Street. Randy remembers Ray as a good big brother. They spent many summer days riding their bikes to Jefferson Barracks, just a mile away, where they would search for fossils and arrowheads down by the banks of the Mississippi River, and watch the barges float by. Ray had an artistic, romantic side to him and loved music, even the love songs. He liked to sing around the house and could really belt it out when the spirit moved him. As a kid, he sang in the choir at church and the choral group in high school. Many a time he kept the family entertained, even though he didn’t know it, when he’d put on his headphones and sing along at the top of his lungs, always off key. He may have been hearing Stairway to Heaven but the family was hearing something entirely different.

Every Sunday, they would go to grandma’s house on Alabama Street and do chores like cut the grass. Afterward, their dad would take them over to Carondelet Park where they would fly kites off the hill over the baseball field, and make out shapes in the clouds that passed over their heads. Ray learned how to be a family man at an early age from his dad, a great example.

In 1974, upon graduation from high school, Ray immediately enlisted in the United States Navy. During his stint in the Navy, Ray served first aboard the USS Hancock, a bit of a coincidence having graduated from Hancock High School, and later aboard the USS Ashtabula. In April of 1975, the USS Hancock took part in Operation Eagle Pull, the evacuation of US nationals and allied Cambodians from Phnom Penh, and Operation Frequent Wind, the evacuation of American civilians and "at-risk" Vietnamese from Saigon, the last rescue, taking place on April 30, 1975 the official last day of the Vietnam War. Many of us have seen film footage of those rescues. To say he was in terrible danger is an understatement. The rescue ships were so over-crowded with refugees that they had to push the helicopters off the flight deck and into the ocean in order to make room. After the USS Hancock was decommissioned in 1976, Ray was stationed aboard the USS Ashtabula, in the far less dangerous surroundings of Pearl Harbor. In fact, he was rewarded with a pretty cushy position working on the captain’s skiff boat that took him from ship to shore.

After separation from the Navy, Ray came home and got a job with Sigma Chemical, and after a few years was made a floor supervisor in the chemical mixing department. It was here he met Patty Pollard, a young single mom supporting her two little girls, Lisa and Tammy. He asked her out, and everyone told her not to date him but she did and it was the smartest decision she ever made. When they decided to get married, Ray was so sweet. He took Lisa and Tammy to the park, gave them each a promise ring, and asked them if he could be their daddy. Although the girls were very young and their memories are faint, they do remember bits and pieces of the wedding day. Actually, the same could be said for Patty.  It was March 20, 1982, the first day of Spring, and Patty and Ray were expecting Tasha at the time of their wedding. Patty recalls the church in University City was very hot, and she wasn’t feeling too well to begin with. She was holding on so tight to Ray’s hand, but the inevitable happened. In front of all her family and friends, and probably some of you were there, she passed out right on top of the girls. To this day, she doesn’t remember saying “I do” but Patty, there were witnesses, so it was valid.

Ray was meant for fatherhood. After all, he had been given a fine example of what it meant to be a father from his own dad. Ray’s dad was over the moon with the birth of his granddaughter, Tasha, and for the Dierkes family, regarding Lisa and Tammy, there was no such word as “stepdaughter.” They were Ray’s daughters from the moment he and Patty said “I do.” Ray not only promised to love and cherish Patty for better or for worse, and sickness and in health. That promise included Lisa and Tammy, too.

As a young family, they did the same things for fun that Ray did growing up. Their playground was Jefferson Barracks, where he would take the girls to hunt for arrowheads and fossils. They would find box turtles and compete in the turtle races they held there. It’s where he took the girls to teach them how to drive. They rode bikes in good weather and flew kites on windy days. Patty jokingly said they never fought over money because there wasn’t any. Ray and Patty and the girls were able to enjoy life and create cherished memories doing the simple things in life. It’s true what they say, that the best things in life are free. We call them “stay-cations” now but when the girls were growing up, they took day trips to Cliff Cave Park and Rockwood Reservation. Forest Park and the Zoo were special destinations, and on rare occasions, they were treated to an ice cream cone at Ted Drewes on South Grand. Patty laughed when she recalled once that Ray even took the girls on the free Anheuser Busch brewery tour. Hey, it was a chemistry lesson, right? In the evenings, they spent time playing Mario Brothers….Ray was always Zelda….and watching a little TV. If it was a Bruce Lee movie it was game on, with flips and fake hits and tumbles. What a fun dad!

Ray was very proud of the girls and their accomplishments. Lisa and Tammy played sports, sometimes three different sports at a time. Patty coached their softball teams and Ray never missed a game. Tasha, who calls herself the “tie-dye” sheep of the family, is the musical one, and she shared her dad’s love of music with him, and boy did Ray love music. Ray was all about KSHE. He loved classic rock especially Robin Trower, Pink Floyd, Lynrd Skynrd, Bob Seger, Ted Nugent , you know the usual KSHE playlist. He was always singing or whistling.

Ray made sure they understood the value of doing things for themselves. He didn’t let them cut corners. If they’d ask him how to spell a word he’d tell them to look it up themselves. He was very patient with them, and instilled in them a sense of responsibility to themselves and others.

He was such a protective dad, with little things and big things. When one of them had a nightmare, Ray got up, gently walked them back to bed, and sat with them until the fear was gone and they fell asleep. Cuts and scrapes on the knee sent Ray to the medicine cabinet for the methiolate. Remember that stuff? Oh, it burned like crazy and the girls would scream “blow on it, blow on it!” to cool it down. Ray swore by methiolate. He was the calm one when the kids got hurt. As they got older, Ray did his best to protect their innocence as long as possible, and there were house rules……If they had a date, after they turned 16 of course, the guy had better come to the door to pick them up. His son in law, Grim said he would get speeding tickets trying to get Tasha home by curfew rather than face the wrath of Ray. No makeup until you’re sixteen. Pink or clear nail polish was okay, but never red. Don’t ever use the word “dork.” If they were watching TV and a scene came on that was too racy for the girls to see, he would tell them to hide their eyes because it was what Ray called a “chicawawa” moment. You know… chicawawa-chicawawa….. And he wouldn’t tolerate gossip or drama, a hard rule to keep in a house full of girls. He was just an old fashioned dad, and that was a good thing. For their part, the girls never wanted to disappoint their dad. It’s the age old universal struggle. Girls growing into women and dads wanting them to stay little girls. The challenges were changing but Ray was still the steady head of the family. If they did something wrong, he never minced words. He told them they screwed up and admonished them for it, but then he said, “Now how can we fix things?”

Ray was a selfless husband and dad. As the provider and breadwinner for the family, he made sure every dime he made was for the benefit of his growing girls, who could go through 8 gallons of milk in one week. He brown bagged it every day at work. He knew cars and how to fix them and did the work himself. Work on the houses they lived in was done by Ray and later with the help of Grim. He worked very hard at his job, all for them. Every year at tax time, the girls would wait excitedly for the tax refund to come in the mail because it meant the family was going to Ponderosa for dinner. It was an annual event. If it was a good refund year, Ray would have some money to spend on car repairs or maybe a different car so he could get to and from work. You could assume that there were so many things that Ray himself went without in order to provide for Patty and the girls but if he were here he’d probably look at you like you were crazy for thinking such a thing. He didn’t go without. He had everything he ever needed and wanted, waiting on the other side of the front door every night.

He was so generous, too. Family dinners were a priority. There was always room for more people at the dinner table provided they got to the house before dinner started. If there was a friend of one of the girls who was having trouble at their own house, Ray invited them to stay with them. Once there was a foreign exchange student who told Tasha that he didn’t like where he was staying and Ray let him finish his stay with them. It was his upbringing and his experience in Vietnam with the refugees that made him the kind of man that would open his door to people in need. His kind and generous ways would forever be appreciated by friends of the girls, who would go out of their way to say hi and talk to him whenever they saw him.

When the department he worked in at Sigma closed, the company told Ray to apply for other positions within the company. He was pretty good with computers and with Patty’s encouragement, he applied for a position as a pricing analyst, and got it. Wouldn’t you know it, it was a perfect fit. He liked his job very much; he had a great boss, Cherie, and was highly regarded among his peers. Employees from all throughout Millipore Sigma asked Ray for his help and opinion because he was so knowledgeable and helpful. It was obvious to his co-workers, too, that Ray was all about his family. He had pictures of his grandkids all over his desk. Ray was able to do what many people can’t, and that is strike a balance between work and home.
Ray liked his job and enjoyed going to work, and he hated it that he was finding himself so tired at the office that he would fall asleep at his desk. He knew something was wrong. A visit to the doctor last year discovered that Ray needed some serious surgeries on his legs to put in stents. For his rehab, he needed to walk, so he and Tasha would go to Jefferson Barracks and take as long a walk as Ray could tolerate. During those walks between father and now a grown up daughter, Tasha learned things about her dad that she never knew, and she is so grateful for that experience.

After 38 years, it broke his heart to have to retire from Sigma but he just couldn’t keep up the pace. Recuperating from the stent surgeries caused Ray to be more sedentary than he wanted. But even though he was home all the time, he still got up and got dressed right away. You know, Ray, his shirt was always tucked in, his hair was combed, and never sloppy. A far cry from the guy with long hair, bell bottoms and head band of his youth.  He had always been an avid reader of science fiction, so he passed some of his time, sitting in his spot on the couch next to Patty, his nose in a book, with a big glass of iced tea and a couple of cigarettes. He loved being with Patty. They had their favorite TV shows, like Law and Order and Jeopardy, which he could have been a contestant on. They’d hold hands as they sat on the sofa together. Once they looked into buying a wide love seat recliner so they could sit closer to each other but when they found out the price was $2000 they decided they could just keep reaching across that middle cushion to find each other’s hand. Where there’s a will there’s a way.

Ray was what every man should be; polite, (he always held the door for ladies); honorable, level headed, respectful, and loving. These are the qualities of a man who strove to do the right thing for his family and himself, and others. At the beginning of this service we heard the song, Daddy’s Hands. If you knew Ray, you knew he had very large hands. He had to. He had a lot to carry. They were hands that held the girls when they cried, worked to make their house a home, even gently poked them in the forehead when he wanted them to think about the consequences of their actions when they did something wrong. They never wanted to disappoint him but sometimes they did, even as adults. But he was always forgiving and so filled with unconditional love for each of them. They were hands that cared for Patty when her back was hurting from arthritis, and lovingly held hers as they watched TV together. They held hands all the time.

Ray should have told Patty sooner that he had been having chest pains, but he didn’t want to worry her. Oh, how we wish he had. Patty, Lisa, Tammy, and Tasha, we all wish we could take your pain and grief away, but we know that’s not possible. You were blessed to have Ray but have been robbed of more time with him.

Now is a time for all of us to weep. Patty cannot imagine her life without her soulmate. The girls have lost their dad, their protector, Grim has lost the man who was more like a father to him than a father in law, the grandkids and great grandkids have lost their champion, and so many of you have lost a dear friend. Ray never ended a phone call or a conversation without saying, I love you, baby or babe, to Patty and his girls. Let’s all try to adopt this practice. Remember to tell the people in your life that you love them, and in doing so, you will honor the memory of a most loving and honorable man, Ray Dierkes.

Song: “I will always love you”