Raymond Pugh Obituary

Raymond H. Pugh
Raymond Pugh
Raymond H. Pugh

February 28, 1929 - December 23, 2012
Born in Des Moines, IA
Resided in Johnston, IA
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Ray met Jesus on December 23, 2012, surrounded by family. He passed peacefully, after many years of heart trouble.

Ray was born in Des Moines on February 28, 1929 to Florence Gibson Hill and Carl Pugh. He graduated from Roosevelt High School. Ray received a degree in physical education from Central College, where he was awarded the Schilder Trophy as the outstanding football player in 1951. He received his Masters from Drake University in 1958, and his PhD from Iowa State University in 1968. Ray was a teacher and coach at Garden Grove, Monroe, Johnston, and North High School; and vice principal at Callahan Middle School. In 1970, he began a 26 year career as a professor of physical education & recreation at Drake University.

Ray served in the US Army during the Korean War. He was a 50 year member of the Masonic Lodge.

Ray worked as a leader at the Des Moines YMCA Camp while in high school and college. He was the director of the Beaver Valley Day Camp, the Larry Jo Ranch and the 4-H Camp. Ray became the executive director of Y Camp in 1970, and retired in 1991 after 22 great years working with the kids, the kids, the kids!

He was the straight man for the entertainment groups known as the Three Jacks and a Queen, the Little Stinkers, the Plaid Lads, and the Good Time Gang, who entertained at schools across the state for over 50 years.

Ray was a well-known motivational speaker and gave over 150 commencement speeches. He wrote several books, including his favorite quotes, such as "the more you give, the more you live!" He also wrote the musical, The Home Front, based on his youth when he put on shows to raise money for the WWII efforts. The show was performed by several groups of students in the 2000's, including Hoyt Sherman Place. He received many awards over the years from numerous organizations. The Ray Pugh Institute of New Hope hosts speakers with inspirational messages, in the spirit of Ray's positive attitude and joy of life.

Ray met the love of his life, Doris Ruth (Dodee) Morris in Lorhville, Iowa. They married in 1954, and had five children: Shane (Bobbi), Wyatt (Jody), Jo Renee (Kirk) Hartung, Matt (Jo Ann), and Todd (Tammy). Ray also has 15 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his step-mother, Helen Pugh. He is preceded in death by both his parents, and his brothers Bob and Dick.

The visitation will be held on Wednesday, December 26, from 3 to 8 p.m. with the family present from 5 to 8 p.m. and a Celebration of Life service on Thursday, December 27, at 10 a.m., both at New Hope United Methodist Church, 4525 Beaver Drive in Des Moines. Burial will be at 3 p.m. on Thursday at Glendale Cemetery.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Ray and Doris Pugh YMCA Camp Endowment; New Hope United Methodist Church; Drake University's new education building; or Central College.

"Click here to view memorial folder"






New Hope United Methodist Church
4525 NW Beaver Drive
Des Moines, IA US 50310
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
3:00 PM - 8:00 PM
- Show more -
New Hope United Methodist Church
4525 NW Beaver Drive
Des Moines, IA US 50310
Thursday, December 27, 2012
10:00 AM
Glendale Cemetery
4909 University Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50311
Thursday, December 27, 2012
3:00 PM


New Hope United Methodist Church
4525 Beaver Avenue
Des Moines, IA US 50310
Drake University - new Education Building
25th & University
Des Moines, IA 50314