Raymond Daniel Legarza of Winnemucca passed away unexpectedly at his home on May 6. He was brought into this world at Oakland General Hospital on July 9, 1928, to his proud parents Martin and Christina Legarza.

Ray graduated from Humboldt County High School in 1946, attended St. Mary's College and the University of Nevada, Reno before entering the United States Army. While stationed in Georgia, Ray made the best decision of his life and married his true love, Joyce Betty Stoker, of Winnemucca, in 1952. After his tour of duty was completed, he was honorably discharged and returned to Reno to serve with the Nevada Highway Patrol before moving back to Winnemucca and becoming a partner with Joe Mackie in the Star Broiler, Winner's Inn and Red Bull casinos.

Ray led an incredibly adventurous life. He was an active pilot for many years and always enjoyed fast cars and faster boats. However, Ray's true legacy to this world was his amazing sense of humor and his ability to love life and all the people he touched. His friends came from every walk of life and every generation. He lived to entertain. Basque food was always on the stove and no one's glass was ever empty.

After many years in the casino business, Ray and Joyce became the owners of JB Liquors until their retirement in 1986. Ray then bought Willow Creek Ranch, the birthplace of his mother, and proceeded to build the property of his dreams for the next 20 years, before moving back to Winnemucca in 2006. Along their incredible journey they were blessed with three amazing children who provided them with constant laughter, plenty of gray hair and many fantastic memories.

Ray is surveyed by his wife of 60 years, Joyce, daughter Loni and dear friend Jerry Mariluch of Reno, daughter Jana and Husband Kenny Bednar of Lake Tahoe, son Mitch and wife Debbie of Lake Tahoe, brother Jerry Legarza and wife Ginger of Laughlin Nev., brother in-law and sister in-law Don and Lillian Stoker of Winnemucca, brother in-law Bob Paige of Colorado Springs, Colo., numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents Martin and Christina Legarza and his brother Bob.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 1 p.m. on Friday, May 17, at St. Paul's Catholic Church, Melarkey Street, Winnemucca, Nev.