By Moira Blazi
This past week, Ray Dedic was honored by his friends and comrades at American Legion post #97 for 65 years of loyal, active membership and service.
Ray Dedic joined the military when he was 22 years old, and attended basic training at
Fort Lewis, Wash.
That was back in 1951, he then spent three years in the army, mostly overseas fighting in Korea. When he returned, alive and whole, he joined the American Legion post here in Libby. Meant to be a military man, Dedic then joined the Navy in 1957 and stayed in for 20 years. First stationed in San Diego, Calif., he was soon transferred to a Navy base in Taiwan where Ray met his wife Halu. They adopted two girls, Tammy and Joann.
After retiring from the Navy, Ray and Halu settled down and he went to work at the J Neils lumber mill where he spent over ten years. “Halu was a great cook,” he said, “and she worked at the Branding Iron for about 11 years.”
Halu passed away in 2006, and Dedic, is now retired.
While many of the details of his life are a bit faded, Dedic remembers the important things.
“I was head of the firing squad,” he told The Montanian with a sweet grin.” The men fired M-1’s and I carried a 45 pistol.”
Dedric’s actual title is and always will be, Past Commander of the Honor Guard, a position held in very high esteem indeed by his comrades and cronies down at the Legion. During Dedic’s term as Commander, the Honor Guard attended over 50 military funerals, bringing honor and respect to the deceased with a rifle salute.
Over the years, Dedic, now 89, has seen most of his friends leave. “All the members have all passed away, I outlived them,” he told The Montanian, “I remember Robert Clough. We were in the same grade and we used to go hunting and fishing together.”
Now, Dedic comes in most days in the early afternoon for a single cold draft at the same bar he has graced for over 60 years. The old building used to be Libby’s first bank,” he said. “The vault used to be where the freezer is now, and the bar is in the same spot it always was.”
Always ready with a smile and a twinkle in his piercing blue eyes, Dedic now takes his life one day at a time. “When you get to be my age, you gotta take what you got,” he said with a grin.
Congratulations on a life well lived, Mr Dedic.
Right: Mr. Dedic with a big smile while being interviewed Photo by Moira Blazi of The Montanian.
Mission Possible Camp
By Riley McNew, age 10
On Monday morning, June 18, I hopped in a van with nine other kids and two counsellors to go to Silver Lake Christian Camp. The camp was Monday through Thursday and we got to sleep there.
We left from Libby Christian Church, drove to Washington, and met other campers from many churches.
There was so much to do at camp. They had laser tag, ziplining, volleyball, basketball, and mini golf. We also spent a lot of time in the water. We went swimming, diving, kayaking, and we played on the blob which was a big water mat.
The camp was named Mission Possible because we did lots of missions like obstacle courses and races.
The cabins were so fancy. There was great food, and I learned a lot about Jesus too.
I got home on Thursday afternoon. My parents missed me so much but I was having too much fun to miss them.
Thank you to Libby Christian Church and our counsellors, Ms. Sharon and Ms. Tara who helped us. Mission Possible was an amazing camp and I hope that I can go again next year.
Check out Libby Christian Church’s other summer programs including their Swimming lessons from July 23-26, their Soccer clinic on August 8, and the Kootenai Valley Triathlon which will be held on August 26. Visit libbychristianchurch.com for more information.
The girls from Libby who shared the Oak cabin at camp sit on the grass to enjoy making smores after evening worship. Photo courtesy of Sharon Brossman.