Raymond G. Appler - 96

3/7/1920 - 5/12/2016

Oregon, IL

Raymond G. Appler, 96, of Oregon, died peacefully at Heritage Square, Dixon on Thursday, May 12, 2016. He was born on March 7, 1920 in Steward, Illinois, the son of Ray and Ruth (Byrd) Appler. On June 18, 1950 he was married to Esther J. Semmler in Ashton, IL. As a young man Ray attended Byrd School and graduated from Steward High School in 1938. He played baseball at the high school level, as a pitcher for Northern Illinois University and was a professional baseball prospect before the war.
When WWII broke out, Ray chose to enlist in the Marine Corps. After completing basic training at Camp Lejeune, he was sent to the Pacific front, where he fought on Guadalcanal and Okinawa. On Okinawa, Ray risked his life to save those of his fellow marines when he used hand grenades and his baseball pitching skills to defeat an enemy gun emplacement. For his heroism he was awarded the Bronze Star.
After the war Ray returned to Steward High School as a science and physical education teacher. He continued his teaching career at Mt. Morris Junior High and then Jefferson School in Oregon. Ray was promoted into administration first as Principal of Pleasant Hill School in Oregon and then as Assistant Superintendent of Schools for Ogle County. In DeKalb County Ray gained more experience as Assistant Superintendent before finally becoming Superintendent of Schools for Ogle County. After his retirement in 1982, Ray earned his real estate license and enjoyed working for Century 21 in Oregon well into his 70's.
Grateful for having shared in his life are his wife, Esther (deceased): four children, Mary (Mark) Kiepura of Arlington Heights, Illinois, John (Diane) Appler of Kihei, Hawaii, Joe (Colleen) Appler of Littleton, Colorado and Marcia (Ned) Birkey of Ida, Michigan; and 10 grandchildren, Whitney and Madeleine Kiepura, Justin and Richard Appler, Nicholas Snoey, Kirstie and Jordan Appler and Leah, Lauren and Ben Birkey.
Visitation will be held on Friday, May 20, 2016 from 4-8 PM at Farrell Holland Gale Funeral Home in Oregon. Funeral services will be held at the First Presbyterian Church in Oregon on Saturday, May 21st at 1:00 PM; burial at Chapel Hill Cemetery, Dixon, IL following the service. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Injured Marines Semper Fi Fund. (https://semperfifund.org/).


Friday May 20th 4-8 PM in FHG--Oregon


Sat. May 21st 1:00 PM in 1st Presbyterian Church--Oregon

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