Raymond Harold Bachtelle, born January 23, 1926 passed away Thursday, October 28, 2021 at Adventist Health Sonora. Private burial will be in Mt. Shadow Cemetery in Sonora, California
On October 28, 2021 a long, happy, wild ride came to an end. Our dad, gramps, great gramps, great great gramps, Ray Bachtelle passed away quietly and went to find his beloved wife, Marcelle. We will miss you terribly, but we know you are out there meeting up with your precious great-grandson, Beau, snd playing jokes on gram together!
Dad was born January 23, 1926 in Whittier, California, the fifth child of Daniel and Mattie Mae (Cash) Bachtelle. He spoke often of growing up near Signal Hill in Long Beach, playing baseball with his dad and brothers, and living a life of mischief and fun! In 1942 dad and mom moved from being friends in the neighborhood to dating and after WWII came to an end, marriage. They would have celebrated their 75 wedding anniversary in September of this year.
In 1943 dad enlisted in the Navy, although he was only 17. His oldest brother had been shot down over Germany, and was in a prisoner of war camp and dad felt he was needed to get the war over, and his brother home! The next three years were spent aboard the USS-Bracken, a troop carrier, as the radioman translating and broadcasting· all communications for the ship. One of his prized possessions is the original copy of the communication he translated, and gave to his ships captain, telling him the war was over and Japan had surrendered.
Toward the end of his life, Dad spoke more openly about his war experiences. Although he loved every minute of his time in the Navy, he had gone through times that were extremely difficult to explain to his family. During the typhoon season of 1944-45 his ship was caught in a historic storm off of the Philippines. He told how the ship roHed-so badly that he and his fellow radioman had to tie their chairs to the bulkhead in order to keep sending and receiving. His companion during this time remained his good friend through all the years of their lives. In the final days of the war, Dad’s ship came under frequent attack by kamikaze pilots, with Japanese warplanes crashing into the waters surrounding his ship.
After the war, dad came home and married mom. To this Union we’re born three children, Karen (Ron) Njirich, Scott (Gina) Bachtelle and Marcelle Bachtelle. He took great pride in his nine grandchildren, Matthew, Nathan, Elisabeth, Phillip, Jeffrey, Amy, Gina, Amanda and Katie, his twelve great-grandchildren, Alexandra, Beau, Isabella, Brittany, Blake, Marcus, Raymond, Gus, Max, Isaac, Leon and Zoe, and finally the two great, great-grandchildren, Luke and Madison Marcelle!
Dad returned to school after the war and acquired a degree in electrical engineering. He spent his career in the fire service working his way up to Fire Chief and building a program for fire safety and prevention that won awards at the state level. Dad took early retirement~ and spent the second half of his professional life as a fire, arson and explosion investigator, expert witness, and teacher of many college-level classes across the state of California. He took particular pride in being an early part of the Fire Academy at Columbia College and built many tasting friendships with students who attended his classes.
Mom and dad spent five happy years living in Hilo, Hawaii but returned to Tuolumne because they missed their family. During this time dads love of collecting Reyn Spooner Hawaiian shirts came into full bloom, with him looking forward to the new Christmas version that came out every year!
Dad was preceded in death by our mom, Marcelle Lawrence Bachtelle on January 6, 2019, and by his beloved great-grandson, Beau Bachtelle on June 1, 2021. He was the last member of his generation of the family, outliving his parents, brothers, and sister, and with his passing an era comes to a gentle close. We will miss your jokes, your Hawaiian shirts and loving presence in our lives, it’s time to move on to the next great thing!
A private family graveside celebration was held on November 5, 2021 with the Tuolumne County Veterans Honor Guard performing the flag ceremony and 21 gun salute. Arrangements were handled by Terzich and Wilson.
- Date of Death: 10/28/2021
- Age: 95
- Residence: Tuolumne, CA