Ray L. Needham

Ray L. Needham was born on April 24, 1944, in New Tazewell, Tennessee. He was one of eleven children born to Lon T. and Ethel (Rosenbaum) Needham. Ray attended Monroe High School, graduating with the class of 1964.

Three years after graduation, Ray married Sandra Calhoun and the couple remained married until 1973. Together they shared the birth of three children: Ken, Theresa, and David.  On October 24, 1975, in Monroe, Ray was married by the county clerk, to the love of his life, the former Hope Darlene Hill.

Ray worked as a construction laborer as a member of the Laborer’s International Union of North America Local number 499 for more than seventeen years before taking a medical retirement in 1986. 

Ray was an all-around motorhead, loving anything and everything to do with automobiles. He enjoyed watching NASCAR with Dale Earnhardt being his favorite driver. Ray loved Corvette’s and GTO’s but no vehicles more than his own 1969 Chevy Nova pro streeter car.  With great success he raced at Milan Dragway for years.

Ray also enjoyed being in the outdoors fishing, hunting and most of all hiking.  A hard working, family-oriented man Ray could be very opinionated, but he dearly loved his children and grandchildren.  He often read from his Bible, his favorite scripture being from the Book of Samuel I and II and prayed over his grandchildren.

Ray Lynn Needham, age 79 of Erie, Michigan passed away on Wednesday; May 17, 2023, at ProMedica Monroe Regional Hospital. His passing was preceded by his parents: Lon and Ethel Needham; two sisters: Fern Singleton and Margaret Needham; and four brothers: Howard, James, George, and Wayne Needham.

To cherish Ray’s memory he leaves his loving wife of forty-seven years: Hope Darlene Needham of Erie; two daughters: Theresa (Skip) Fehse of Monroe and Rachel Needham (Jackson Hinkle) of Canton; two sons:  Kenneth Needham of Buffalo, New York and David (Kellie) Needham of Monroe; two sisters: Dorothy Keck and Pat (John) Brown, both of Monroe; two brothers: his twin, Glen Fay (Brenda) Needham of Monroe and Carson (Betty) Needham of Morristown, Tennessee; eight grandchildren: Sharayah (Martin) Sanders, Tamra Needham, Dakota Needham, Kimberly Needham, Courtnie (Nicolas) Levesque, Bo and Brock French, and Tobias Needham; seven great grandchildren: Bailey Knabusch, Lailah Needham, Elijah Daly, Malia Ramsey, Lily Carter, Jackson Carter, and Noah Levesque.

Friends may gather from 12:00pm until 2:30pm on Monday; May 22, 2023 at Merkle Funeral Service, South Monroe; 14567 South Dixie Highway, Monroe, Michigan 48161 (734) 241-7070. A Celebration of Ray’s Life will take place at 2:30pm also at Merkle’s with Pastor Tim Icocoangeli of Monroe Missionary Baptist Church officiating. Procession will follow to Roselawn Memorial Park in LaSalle for burial.

Online guests may leave words of inspiration and comfort or share a photo by visiting www.merklefs.com.