West Plains, MO Location (417) 256-4141

Thayer, MO Location (417) 264-7242

Ray Dern

Maxwell Ray Dern was born the son of Maxwell Raymond Dern and Mildred June (Moore) Dern on November 17, 1943, in Koshkonong, Missouri and departed this life July 15, 2014, in Thayer, Missouri at the age of 70 years.

He was united in marriage January 24, 1969, in Springfield, Missouri to Bridgett O’Neill.

He is survived by his wife, Bridgett Dern of the home in Koshkonong, Missouri; three children, Maxwell Raymond Dern of Alabama, John Ray Dern of Koshkonong, Missouri, and Patricia Marie Brown and husband, Jason of West Plains, Missouri; three grandchildren, Joshua Raymond Dern, Rebecca Faye Dern, and Amber ReShay Dern; four great grandchildren; three sisters, Velva Tharp and husband, Bob of Colorado Springs, Colorado, Susie Anstine and husband, Bob of West Plains, Missouri, and Mildred Ball and husband, Larry of Koshkonong, Missouri; three aunts; a host of nieces and nephews, other relatives and many friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Max and June Dern; paternal grandparents, John B. and Susie Dern; maternal grandparents, Ray and Velva Moore; two brothers-in-law, David Cooper and John Cooper; two sisters-in-law, Mary Van Arsdale and Sara Rice; one great niece and one great nephew.

Mr. Dern was a Veteran, serving his country in the United States Navy as a Seabee in the Vietnam conflict. After a military injury, Ray served as a member of the Military Honor Guard.

He enjoyed all aspects of farm life, especially raising beef cattle. Ray was a good mechanic and took pride in repairing old farm equipment. He was a history buff; liked train rides; and enjoyed the company of his Seabee buddies.

Ray had a servant’s heart, always striving to help others in need and a great passion for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

He attended the Koshkonong Free Will Baptist Church and was devoted to community involvement. He will be remembered as a loving husband, father, grandfather, and brother, as well as, a loyal friend and neighbor. He will truly be missed by his family and the community in which he lived.

Funeral Services for Mr. Dern will be Saturday, July 19, 2014, at 2:00 PM in the Carter Funeral Home Chapel at Thayer with Brother Johnny Holesapple officiating.

The family will receive friends at the funeral home chapel in Thayer on Friday, July 18th from 6:00 to 8:00 PM.

Burial will be in the Koshkonong Cemetery with full military honors. Services under the direction of Carter Funeral Home, Inc. in Thayer.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions be made to St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital and may be left at Carter Funeral Home in Thayer.



  1. Dave and Gertie Jett
    July 16, 2014 @ 4:36 pm

    We are so sorry for your loss.Our thoughts and prayers will be with you . God bless.
    Love you, Gertie and Dave


  2. Marc and Kathy
    July 19, 2014 @ 6:43 am

    I remember how much Ray loved to cook. Always trying to find the perfect fried chicken or
    fried fish.He already had found the perfect recipe for Mountain Oysters, such a treat. When you saw Ray and his black kettle, you knew something good was getting ready to happen.
    Cookouts down on the creek at Burts, lots of good memories,memories that wont go away.
    You take good care of yourself Bridgett,Ray would want that.


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