Mass of Christian Burial: Will be held on Saturday, December 5, 2020, at 11:00 a.m. at the St. John’s Catholic Church in Greenfield with burial in the Greenfield Cemetery with full military graveside rites conducted by the Greenfield American Legion Head-Endres Post No. 265 and V.F.W. Post No. 5357. Father Phillip Bempong will officiate the service.
Livestream: Ray’s Mass of Christian Burial on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. will be livestreamed on the St. John’s Catholic Church Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/St-Johns-Catholic-Church-Faith-Formation-732143476930736.
Open Visitation: Friends may call at the St. John’s Catholic Church in Greenfield on Friday, December 4, 2020, from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Rosary Service: A Rosary Service will be held at 4:00 p.m. at the St. John’s Catholic Church in Greenfield on Friday.
**Due to COVID, masks will be required and social distancing will take place.**
Memorials: May be directed to the Ray Leto Scholarship Fund or to Catholic Charities.
Raymond Leto was born on December 27, 1936 in Des Moines, IA, the first-born son of Joseph & Betty Leto. He passed away peacefully at Mercy Hospice in Johnston, IA on December 1, 2020.
Ray was raised on Des Moines' Southside into humble beginnings. His Italian/Croatian heritage bonded him to high morals based on faith, family, education, hard work and service. He was baptized, confirmed, altar boy and married at St. Anthony Catholic Church where he also attended Elementary and Junior High School. He's a graduate of Dowling High School Class of ‘54 and the State University of Iowa Class of '58. He served our country for 6 years in the U.S. Army Reserves. He met Rae Atkinson, fell in love; married six months later on July 23, 1960. In 1967 he graduated from Drake University where he achieved his Master of Science degree. Together for fifty years, Ray & Rae raised two sons and four Pugs, immersed themselves in their church and community volunteering time and talents. They enjoyed gardening, harvesting and canning produce; watched Iowa Hawkeye sports, visited Casinos, traveled frequently to Branson, The Ozarks and Las Vegas attending numerous music shows. Ray cherished his family and friends. The quality time spent with them enhanced his life blessing him with many happy memories.
Ray was a standout athlete which earned him a baseball scholarship to college. His teaching career began at Urbandale and Saydel High Schools where he taught and coached for nine years. He moved his family to Greenfield, IA in 1968 upon acceptance as High School Principal and Athletic Director. This was the beginning of a wonderful life working, living and befriending everyone. During his career he was bestowed with many awards which were accepted with gracious humility. His career flourished as he was passionate to share his love for learning along with inspiring his students. Greenfield, together with the surrounding communities, quickly became his forever home which he loved deeply. Likewise, Nodaway Valley grew to love "Chief" too!
Ray was preceded in death by his parents, wife and siblings Phyllis Brodie and Ronnie Leto.
He is survived by sons Joe (Linnea) Leto of Parkersburg, IA and Tom Leto of Des Moines; brother Robert Leto from Tucson, AZ and devoted niece Theresa Sullivan of Altoona. Grandpa Ray to his grandchildren and great grandchildren: April, Kelsey, Joey & Shelby Leto and Payton & Pearl Martin. Affectionately known as Papa Doc to Brodie, Jesse & Tara Sullivan. He was loved and respected by many cousins, nieces, extended relatives and friends.
Ray's family wishes to express their gratitude to the professionals at Adair County Memorial Hospital, Greenfield Rehabilitation & Health Care Center, MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center and Mercy Hospice Johnston. Their medical knowledge, guidance and emotional support shall be remembered always.