Raymond A. Conitz, 90, Las Vegas, died Sept. 7, 2019, in his home, where he was under hospice care due to kidney failure.
Ray was born Feb. 9, 1929, in New Salem to Fred and Maude (Eckwortzell) Conitz. He graduated from New Salem High School in 1947, where, according to him, he didn't study hard enough and played a little basketball.
In December 1948 he enlisted in the United States Air Force where he was selected and, subsequently, entered pilot training in July 1949 as an Aviation Cadet. He was commissioned in August 1950. While in the Air Force he received a bachelor's degree in social welfare with a major in criminology and a minor in business finance from Florida State University.
During his time in the military he served in the United States, Bermuda, Libya, England and Vietnam. He served in Vietnam from June 1967 to July 1968, where he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal. In July 1969 he retired from the Air Force and worked for Overseas National Airways, The Chicago Board Options Exchange and the Veterans Administration before retiring for good in 1978.
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When he was stationed in England in 1964 he met Nadia Yates, whom he married in Chicago on Oct. 5, 1973. They moved to Florida to be near his children from a previous marriage and then to Nevada in 1980, first to Reno and then to Las Vegas where he was able to indulge in a hobby he was pretty good at - poker.
Ray was preceded in death by his parents, Fred and Maude Conitz; his brother Wallace and his sister-in-law Mildred (Heid).
He is survived by his wife, Nadia, of Las Vegas; his brother, Duane, Mandan; his son Kevin and daughter-in-law Denise (Parker), St. Petersburg Beach, Fla.; his daughter Sandi (Conitz) Massey, Kissimmee, Fla.; his grandchildren Melissa Barzotti, Janelle Heyl, Austin Gilloolly and Parker and Michael Conitz; his great-grandchildren Cameron, Elyssa and Gianni Barzotti, Emersyn and Quinn Heyl; and his niece Kim Loberg and nephews James and Jess Conitz.
A memorial service will be held in New Salem at a later date.
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