On Monday, February 15, 2020, Gale R. McRae, a loving father and veteran, passed away. He was 91. Gale was born May 29, 1929 in Lakin, Kansas to George R. and Mertie B. McCoy McRae as an only child. McRae graduated from Lakin High School before working for the Colorado Interstate Gas Company for forty years. He married Ada Lou Johnson in 1950, and together they raised two children, Joe Neal and Ola Jean. Joe Neal preceded him in death in 1992 and Ada Lou passed away in 1995. Gale married Barbara Mills in 1997.
Gale dedicated his life to serving others and his county. Gale served in the U.S. Navy for four years during the Korean War onboard a ship and in Japan as a parachute rigger. Even after his discharge from the military, he flew his American and POW flags from his home for many years. He was a member of First United Methodist Church in Fritch, Texas and served in the Fritch Volunteer Fire Department. When he could no longer fight fires, he continued to support the fire department by welding the fire trucks or spraying weeds around the fire hydrants. Gale often cooked for his church’s Men's Breakfast and loved to eat if they didn't need a cook. Gale also loved traveling and visiting his family, exploring the United States in an RV and taking cruises. Gale never met a stranger, and he loved going to drink coffee and eat donuts with his many friends in town.
Gale is survived by his wife, Barbara, his daughter and son-in-law, Ola Jean and Eddie Ward, and his stepsons and their wives, Randy and Gail Mills and Curtis and Dana Mills.
His grandsons and their spouses include Seth and Kassi Ward, John and Claire Ward, and Chris and Kathyrn Mills. He also has six granddaughters and their spouses, Sarah and Rapha Rega,Stacey Connor, Kelley Mills, Amy and Jesus Villasenor, Lacey and Justin Farmer, and Mallory and Matt Karins
He is also survived by 12 great-granddaughters, Isabella Rega, Kiaya Rogers and Beckley Ward, Katelyn and Sarah Mills, Grace and Kelley Connor, Regan and Anna Walls, Amiyah Villasenor, Lexie Farmer, Rylan Karins, and eight great-grandsons Ethan Mills, Isaac, Sheppard, Cliffy Connor, Joshua Walls, Jayven Villasenor, Bryson Warren and Easton Farmer, and Aiden Karins.
He is survived by two brothers-in-law, Joe and Vickie Johnson, and Donald Johnson.
He also has many nieces and nephews in his Johnson family and Barbara's family, and many cousins he kept in touch with.
Gale's family includes his caretakers Mandy Skipton and Lueree Moon. We are so thankful for all of the love and attention they gave to Gale during his long illness.
Funeral services will be held 10:30 am Monday,February 22, 2021 at First United Methodist Church of Fritch under the direction of Minton Chatwell Funeral Directors of Fritch. Graveside service will be held at 3 pm on Monday in Lakin Cemetery, Lakin Kansas. The family will receive friends from 5-7 pm on Sunday, February 21, 2021 at the funeral home. Pallbearers will be Eddie Ward, Seth Ward, John Ward, Curtis Mills, Randy Mills, Justin Farmer, Rapha Rega and Bryson Warren. Honorary pallbearers will be John Williams, Jim Brooks, Steve Oatman, Don Walker, Ben Wells and Kim Huelster.
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