Raymond Ronald Kovash

December 14, 1930 - June 16, 2020
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Timeline for Raymond Ronald Kovash

Born: December 14, 1930
Died: June 16, 2020

Condolences for Raymond Ronald Kovash

Marana Mortuary & Cemetery

Raymond R Kovash 1930-2020

After a brief stay at the Arizona VA Health Care Center in Tucson, AZ, Ray Kovash, 89, passed away on Tuesday, June 16, 2020. He was proceeded in death by siblings, Dorothy (Steffan), Edward, George, Wilma (Kostelecky) and sons, Shane and Jonathon.


Ray was born December 14, 1930, and raised in New Hradec, ND, on a family farm. He went to Model High, graduating with honors, and Dickinson State Teachers College in Dickinson, ND where he received his teaching degree in music and business. Ray loved music and played the trumpet in the college band, even while in high school, and performed with a dance band ensemble on weekends.


Ray met his bride and the love of his life, Joanne (Burr) Kovash in Dickinson; they married on April 30, 1951, and they 69 years together. He was drafted that same year, went to Korea and was assigned as radio operator for the Battalion Commander. On October 1, 1952, Ray was caught in mortar fire which resulted in many surgeries and days of convalescing. He received a bronze star for exemplary duty to an officer and the Purple Heart for his injury during military service.


Ray accepted a music teaching position in 1960 at Baker Elementary in Baker, MT. In 1966, he moved to Deer Lodge, MT, first teaching band at the Granville Stuart Elementary and then, at Powell County High School where he instructed symphony, marching band, typing, photography and oversaw the publication of the yearbook. He operated “Mr. K’s Studio” in Deer Lodge for many years and photography filled the family home; walls were graced with family portraits and pictures of Ovando, MT, the location of the beloved log cabin.

Ray was Grand Exalted Ruler of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE, #1737) in Deer Lodge. He was also an Honorary Member in the Fourth Degree of the Knights of Columbus and a charter member of Our Lady of the Desert No. 15704 in Tucson. In Ray’s honor, an engraved KOC Chalice will be presented to the Lady of the Desert Church for his serving the Catholic church and community for over 63 years.


Ray was the loving father of Denise Hawes (Jim), Nevis, MN, Robin, Denver, CO, Shane and Jonathon, both deceased. After retirement, Ray and Joanne, moved to Tucson, AZ, and for over 20 years, Ray enjoyed the desert and entertaining family gatherings, hosting eight grandchildren and four great grandchildren.  He was a member of Our Lady of the Desert Catholic Church-Redemptorist Renewal Center where his body will be interred. No Mass or memorial service is scheduled at this time.



Hayley Austin posted on 9/3/20

To the Kovash family I am so deeply sorry for your lose. I only knew Ray for a short time but him and Jo were always so good to me and accepting. I just found out of Ray's passing and my heart goes out to all his family. Ray was a good man.


Nancy Polish posted on 8/10/20

So many fond memories of Mr Kovash, everything I know about a keyboard...typewriter, or computer is because of him!!!! Such an incredible man! .....My thoughts are with you during this season of grief!!! Love and Sympathy for your entire family! Nancy Polish


Nancy Polish posted on 8/10/20

So many fond memories of Mr Kovash, everything I know about a keyboard...typewriter, or computer is because of him!!!! Such an incredible man! .....My thoughts are with you during this season of grief!!! Love and Sympathy for your entire family! Nancy Polish


rod steffan posted on 7/6/20

joanne, I am very sorry for your loss.I have been there many times in my life. I am looking forward to rejoining my loved ones on the other side. Please keep in touch. Love, Rod Steffan


Mike McCrory posted on 7/6/20

Betty and I enjoyed Ray so much! On Sunday mornings before Mass started, we would visit with Ray and Jo to talk about the Arizona Wildcats. He was a loyal fan, but he did not want me to spoil the results of the game just in case he couldn't stay up for the end. He, of course, had it recorded. He was a Wildcat through and through. We will miss Ray very much! And Jo! Remember WE were the A Team when it came to cleaning the church on Friday's! Betty and Mike McCrory


Alison Lanctot posted on 6/29/20

So sorry for your loss. He was my typing teacher and took my high school graduation picture. You mom worked with my dad, Vince Scanlon and we lived up by them. God Bless all of you. Very talented man lost to us. Alison Lanctot (Scanlon)


Sara Downing posted on 6/28/20

In memory of Raymond Ronald Kovash, Sara Downing lit a candle


Sara Downing posted on 6/28/20

I have so very memories about your dad and most all are centered around laughter and smiles. He always cracked me up! (Well maybe, not when a I would get in trouble horsing around in typing class ?) but Ray’s smile and humor Was epic. That look in his eye when you could tell~ though words were soft~ He would say something so funny and he had already just slid it into the conversation and had already been giggling inside his own head many minutes before you picked up what was so funny. I saw this time and time again in the eyes of Jon also. Laughter and humor are my fondest memories! I also remember one winter where I was up at the house visiting Jon on a snowy day and we went out to make a snowman. Jon being Jon~ when we were done with him, and had taken a step back to admire him~ Jon plopped on a BIG Pair of breasts! He knew I would be mortified, and rolled out his laughter that as I was.... Little did I know Ray was capturing it on film. So much of my life and fun was chronicled by Ray and so beautifully. I respected him so very much and loved the humor he shared in the family and with us. God’s speed Ray~ give the boys my love and a hug?


Connie Jovick Surerus posted on 6/28/20

?Sending love and Sympathy to the Kovash family!! Your dad or grandpa was a very talented photographer!! Just love the picture he took of me in 1969, when I was a sophomore at Powell County High School in Deer Lodge!


Phil and Francine Harris posted on 6/28/20

Our thoughts and prayers go out for Ray’s family. We felt honored to know him, although briefly, during his teaching time in Deer Lodge. Thinking of you, Jo, at this sad time.


Gina Albert posted on 6/28/20

The entire Kovash family will be in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. Lovingly, Gina Albert


Jeanette posted on 6/28/20

So sorry for your loss I lost my dad a few years ago and it feels like yesterday Prayers and condolences


Penny Kaleva posted on 6/28/20

I had Me. kivas has for band and typing. He was a great guy. Fun teacher! Sorry for your loss. Penny Kaleva


Lucia Shunkwiler posted on 6/27/20

So sorry for your loss....Mr. Kovash was one of my favorite teachers and made me love typing for life! Lucia Murray Shunkwiler 1974


Elmer and Kathleen posted on 6/27/20

Aunt Joanne, Denise and Robin What a truly wonderful family I have always admired. Wilma always spoke highly, lovingly and kindly of Uncle Ray. She said were close. Now they can look back and enjoy conversation of days go by. Uncle Ray was special to us all. He was always and kind and so full of sayings that may us laugh. Your family is protected by God, no doubt. For all the suffering you have been through, know that was faith that held together your love. The reunion of Ray, Shane and Jon must be a joyous one. God Bless you all and know that our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.


CELE AND JOHN ZPOHLE posted on 6/27/20

A special man- he will always br remembered by so many with warm memories.