Ray Nash, Henry County resident, turns 104

Claudia Loucks
Ray Nash, a resident of Hillcrest Home, Geneseo, was recently honored with a cake and party on his 104th birthday.

The first day of summer, June 21, was a big day for Ray Nash. It marked his 104th birthday celebration with family and residents at Hillcrest Home in rural Geneseo, where he has made his home since November of 2017.

He was born in Mineral in 1918 in the middle of the Spanish Flu epidemic, one of six children.

Growing up on a farm, Nash had a strong work ethic that carried into his adult life. He was drafted into the United States Army and served in World War II. On D-Day, Nash was marching across Italy.

He was involved in farming before becoming a heavy machine operator. According to his family, “he became one of the best blade men known. You see, Ray had an eye for a straight line long before lasers existed. If you wanted it done right, Ray Nash was your guy!”

He worked for Burns Township in Henry County, Stuart Ogden of Geneseo, Henry County Highway Department and eventually retired from McNeill Asphalt Company in Kewanee after 35 years of service.

His family includes a son, David (Bonnie); daughters, Carolee (Joe); Marilyn, Gloria and Raele. There are seven grandchildren and several great grandchildren.

Amy Howard, activity director at Hillcrest Home, shared, “For somebody’s Ray’s age to still be as sharp as a tack is nothing short of amazing. He’s a sight be behold as he propels himself around the facility in his wheelchair as well.”

She said her favorite trait of Ray’s is his sense of humor…”When I affixed his birthday pin that says ‘let’s party, it’s my birthday,’ I told him how appropriate I thought that pin was for him, and he replied with ‘Yep, I ‘spose you’re right’!”

“Everyone here at Hillcrest is a Ray fan!” Howard added.