American Patriotic 10

Ray Louis Eilts

August 13, 1923 ~ April 8, 2020 (age 96)


Ray Louis Eilts

Ray Louis Eilts, 96, Hays, died Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at Via Christi Village in Hays.

He was born August 13, 1923 in rural Rush County south of Rush Center, Kansas, the son of Ed and Anna (Richter) Eilts.  He was a baptized member of Hope Lutheran Church in Rush Center and a graduate of LaCrosse High School in the class of 1942. He attended Emporia State University then served in the United States Army Air Corps.  He was in the 1503rd Air Force Base Unit and crew chief of C54.  On October 1, 1966 he was united in marriage to Dolores Anne Lazuire in Plainville, and they celebrated nearly 50 years of marriage before she preceded him in death on June 1, 2016.  He was a farmer, custom harvester, professional driver transporting livestock, bulk fuel, and manufactured housing, and a school bus driver for USD 489.  He was a member of the LaCrosse American Legion Post #33, Hays American Legion Post #173, charter member of the American Legion Post #173 Patriot Guard, the Barbershop Harmony Society, blood bank donor, Rush Center Boy Scout Troop #447 leader, Gold Wing Touring Association, Plainville Lions Club, and the Walnut City Free Mason Lodge #215.  His hobbies included motorcycle riding, airplane flying, dancing, and singing in the High Plains Barbershop Chorus.  He was a Kansas City Chiefs fan, and enjoyed his pet dog, listening to band music, and meeting new people. 

Survivors include four sons; Leo Eilts and wife Rose of Kansas City, KS, Roger Eilts and wife Deidre of Prairie Village, KS, and Mark Eilts and wife Chris and Keith Eilts and wife Renee, all of Hays, two daughters; Rayleen Hufford and husband Dennis of San Antonio, TX, and Kathy Mitchell and husband Gary Chubb of Lee’s Summit, MO, thirteen grandchildren; David Mitchell and wife Shabnam of Orlando, FL, Kyle Eilts and wife Angela of New Haven, MO, Phillip L. Mitchell and wife Lauren of Lawrence, Natalie Moore and husband Jerry of Wichita, Elise Eilts-Blas and husband Drew of Topeka, Stephanie Brewster and husband Brandon of Olathe, Rachel Eilts-Bogert and husband Nate of Kansas City, MO, Mariah Messer and husband Pete of Minneapolis, MN, Aden Eilts  of Kansas City, KS, Jesse Hufford and wife Karyl of Ft. Lewis, WA, Justin Hufford and wife Catherine of San Antonio, TX, Jay David Hufford and wife Tricia of Austin, TX, Juleen Sanftner and husband Roger of San Antonio, TX, 18 great grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Dolores, an infant son; Rodney Eilts, a son-in-law; Gerald Mitchell, and two brothers; Walter and Harry Eilts.

A celebration of Ray’s life will be announced at a later date when all may attend.  Inurnment with military honors by the Hays American Legion Post #173 Patriot Guard and the VFW Post #9076 Honor Guard will be at the Kansas Veterans’ Cemetery in WaKeeney.  Memorials are suggested to the Humane Society of the High Plains or to Boy Scout Troop #101 of Hays, in care of Hays Memorial Chapel Funeral Home, 1906 Pine Street, Hays.  Condolences and memories of Ray may be shared with the family at

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