In loving memory of Ron Raff: 1941-2023


Ron was born in 1941 in Kelso, Washington, to Violet and Herman Raff. He joined the Navy right out of high school with four of his best friends. While in the Navy, he learned many things that served him well throughout his life. Shortly after he returned home from the Navy, he married Rhonda Weckel and had his first daughter, Jodi. He went to work at the Cowlitz County PUD as a lineman apprentice. In 1964, he had an electrical accident that changed his life. He decided to further his education.

He graduated from the University of Washington and was a professional electrical engineer. He met the love of his life, Cheri Yantis, at the University of Washington, and they were married in 1968. After graduation, he went back to work at the Cowlitz County PUD as an electrical engineer. In 1976, he was recruited to the Lewis County PUD and served as the manager of the Morton office and then became the superintendent of outside operations. He retired after 40 years and continued working as an engineer and consultant for the next 12 years. 

Ron was a passionate mountain climber. He climbed peaks all over the world. He climbed the highest peaks in five of the seven world continents. He belonged to the Olympia branch of the Mountaineers. He served as the chair of the branch as well as the leader of the climbing committee for many years. He received Olympia Branch Mountaineers Service Award two years in a row and the Mountaineers Service Award for the entire club. 

Ron was an avid outdoorsman who had a zest for life and knowledge. He loved fishing, hunting, hiking and skiing. He had a kind spirit and a wicked sense of humor.   

Ron was a devout Christian all of his life. He would start his day out loudly quoting his favorite Bible verse: “This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” — Psalm 118:24. Sometimes his joy early in the morning was not fully appreciated by his sleeping children – lol. 

He leaves behind his wife, Cheri; his children, Jodi, Juli and Jennifer; his son-in-laws, Benji and Gabe; grandchildren, Leah, Cameron, Alysia, Colman, Adison, Zachariah, Asher, Kaden, Courtney, Zac, Bradley, Brynden, Ryanne and Mikey; and great-grandchildren, Layla, Trevor, Violet, Gracelyn, Cam, Huxley, Hayes and Otto. 

He was preceded in death by his parents, Violet and Herman Raff; Betty and Burl Yantis; Kaylynn Vann; and Taylor Hines.

Family and friends will forever be touched by his amazing life here on earth. The family would like to express their sincere thanks to hospice, especially to Elaine and Jamie. And, to the wonderful staff at the Centralia Point Memory Care Center who treated Ron with love, kindness and respect. We will forever be grateful for them.