Rev. Richard Eugene Raney 1912-2013
Rev. Richard E. Raney, a Roman Catholic priest of the Diocese of Peoria, IL and chaplain to the Poor Clare Nuns of San Damiano Monastery of St. Clare on Fort Myers Beach, FL passed away peacefully on Oct. 11, 2013, only eight days before his 101st birthday.
Father Raney was the youngest of three children of William and Loretta Raney and grew up in Peoria, IL. He attended St. Bernard's Grade School and the Spaulding Institute in Peoria, St. Bede's College in Peru, IL and Kenrick Seminary in St. Louis, MO. Fr. Raney was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Peoria on June 5th, 1938.
His long years of service as a devoted pastor of souls began in Illinois. During these years, Fr. Raney celebrated many thousands of Masses, responded to numerous sick calls, often in the wee hours of the night, and heard countless confessions. He coached football, basketball and track teams. He also built a church, a school, a rectory and a convent at St. Edwards Parish in Chillicothe, Illinois.
In 1980 Fr. Raney retired for reasons of health and moved to Fort Myers Beach, Florida where he had vacationed for many years with his friends Jim and Chris Baldwin. He enjoyed golf and recorded a hole-in-one at the age of 92.
In 1988, when the Poor Clare Nuns founded a new monastery on Fort Myers Beach, Fr. Raney offered to say Mass for the sisters. He endeared himself to everyone who attended his Masses. All who met him were moved by his gentle love, the example of his life, and the simplicity of his message of love for God and one another.
In 2010, the Year of the Priest, at the request of the Sisters, Fr. Raney was affiliated to the Order of Friars Minor of Holy Name Province for his many years of service to the Poor Clares.
Fr. Raney served as Chaplain of the Poor Clares for over 25 years. Last October, his 100th birthday was celebrated by Bishop Frank Dewane, members of Ascension Parish, the Poor Clares and hundreds of special friends who turned out to honor a very beloved priest and friend.
Fr. Raney is survived by his niece, Mary Ann Muller, his nephews, William Muller and Steven Nelson-Raney, many cousins and countless near and dear friends from the north and in Florida. He is pre-deceased by his brother, William Raney and his sister, Gertrude Muller.
Services for Fr Raney were held on Monday, October 14th
at Ascension Catholic Church. Donations may be made to the Poor Clare Nuns, 6029 Estero Blvd, Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931.