Ray Ashby McBride (1916-2002)

From Biographical Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Ray Ashby McBride
McBride, Ray Ashby 2.jpg
Born: 13 Feb 1916 Tooele, Utah
Died: 24 Mar 2002 Boulder, Colorado
Father: John Sheridan McBride
Mother: Elizabeth Ann Ashby
Siblings: Van Francis McBride
Martha Ann McBride
Ray Ashby McBride
Spouse: Aurelia Nielsen
Married: 30 Jun 1937 Salt Lake City, Utah
Children: Janice Irene McBride
Veldon Ray McBride
James Nielsen McBride

Biography of Ray McBride

by Grandson James T. McBride

Wind 25 Feb. 2000

The wind was strong today. Grandpa said he remembered plywood flying through the air one day in Boulder when we went to school. He said he'd have a truck load of it if he could have grabbed it. But, the wind was too strong to do that.

He said he went to work and a neighbor needed help putting a sheet of plywood on their front window.  While he was working on it, another piece of plywood sailed over the house and knocked the electrical transformer off the power pole. He said there was sparks and fire everywhere.

The ENCAR building in Boulder is a tall building. Once when he was working on it, he was with a man that jumped on a sheet of plywood on the roof. He didn't want the plywood to blow away.  It blew away anyway ad it killed the man.

Another time he saw a stack of sheet rock on a roof. The wind peeled off the top sheet, the next, and the next. He said it was just like a machine gun. Then he said he saw another just like it in Boulder when a stack of plywood blew off.

He said that at another work site in Colorado, he saw a piece of sheet rock fly into a man (Bill Smith) and almost cut him in half.  Luckily he lived. (He called him smart. I'm not sure why.)

He said the best thing to do in a 100 mph wind is to get into a hole.

13 Jan 1999 -- The first winter he lived in Lafayette, he lived in a camper trailer he bought in Tooele. The wind blew and it was cold. So, he put a piece of plywood in front of the truck to help. One storm blew snow over the four foot high piece of plywood. He didn't say how it performed the rest of the time. Then in the spring, he had a power line and meter for electricity put in to where the house was going to be. Then he went down to city hall to get the power turned on. The city worker asked, "Why do you need power there for?" Grandpa was upset and the city worker got scared and locked himself in the back room. He couldn't get out. But Grandpa couldn't get him either. Later the engineer that put in the power poles and strung the wires to Grandpa's house let the city worker out of the back room. The engineer was a good man and visited grandpa to hear his side of the story. As a result, the city worker was retired.

3/18/2000 -- A few days after Grandpa told me these stories, the wind knocked him down while he was trying to feed his horse. He hurt his left collar bone. Now both arms were sore. Grandpa spent a lot of time alone at home. When I would visit, he would ask what the rest of the family was doing. One day, after not hearing from some family members for a few months, he asked me if I knew what they were doing. I said that I didn't know, "Maybe they have broken arms," I suggested somewhat incredulously. Grandpa rebuked me saying he was the only one that had two broken arms. He said that he needed to find a new bank. His bank has a drive up window. With his two hurt arms, it is difficult to do business. Further, the bank is closing that window.

John S. McBride

Grandpa said that his dad, John Sheridan McBride, was more comfortable on a horse than in their Lincoln. He said he would forget how to stop the car and pull back on the steering wheel and shout "Whoa!" Grandpa said, "We had to fix the garage so many times that it was pitiful."

In 1984 about a month before my mission, grandpa was hunting by button rock dam when is horse fell on him. It broke two or four ribs and he was in the Longmont hospital. He told me it was the first time in fifty years that he wouldn't shoot a deer. Then he told me about his father. He said that nobody had a better dad than he did. He said this several times. (I didn't ask him to elaborate.) Then he told me to be sure and be good to my dad because I had a good dad too. Then I gave him a blessing and left.

One of my brothers gave Grandpa a popcorn popper for Christmas 1998. Grandpa said when John S. McBride wanted popcorn, he would put a hardwood log on the fire. The coals would be hot enough. They didn't have television then. They spent a lot of time popping corn.

I asked him about his father once. He said he was a foreman in the Kennecott Copper mine near Tooele for a duration of 10 or 15 years. I asked him again six months later. He said that Grandpa John was just a farmer.  He had a heard of horses. When Kennecott smoke became thick, it killed forty of the horses. He said a lawyer sued Kennecott for them and won. Unfortunately, the lawyer took all the money and Grandpa and his dad never saw it or knew of it until after Grandpa John's death.

Broken Ribs

Grandpa broke his ribs on three occasions. When dad broke his ribs, he broke them in the front. Grandpa said the thing that hurts the most is to break them in the back, off of the backbone. One time Grandpa had a handful of stuff as he started walking down some stairs.  Then, someone gave him some curtains and blinds to take down too. He took a few steps and tripped on one of the blind cords. He landed on his back on one of the steps. That broke several of his ribs off his back bone. Ouch.


Grandpa has five cats. One of them has a name, Timmy. The white cat isn't the biggest cat.  But he is quick and mean. Grandpa says he fights the most with the other four. The white cat walks around, swinging his legs widely, as if to show the other cats he's bigger than he looks. He also flicks the tip of his tail toward the other cats as if to say, "You want to fight! How about you? Do you want to!"

One day, grandpa took the white cat to the vet. The vet left to examining room door open. When he put the white cat on the table, the cat ran out. The vet also left the front door open. So, the cat ran out the front door too. They searched for the cat. But, he was gone.

Three days later, Grandpa let the cats in and the white cat came in too. Somehow the white cat found its way across town, back home.

The cats aren't very good "mousers." Timmy is the best. But, he doesn't get rid of mice. He catches them and brings them into the house for everyone to have fun chasing. Unfortunately, the mouse always seems to get away before they kill it or eat it.

Timmy is the smartest cat. He is the only one that can open the door if it isn't closed all the way. Timmy is Grandpa's favorite. In 1997, grandpa was coming out of his bathroom and turned too quickly. He fell and broke the 1/8 inch stainless steel part of his artificial hip. (I didn't think it was humanly possible.) He was in severe pain. It took him an hour to crawl ten feet to the telephone. During the hour, Timmy knew he was in pain and crawled onto his chest to talk to him. That's why he loves Timmy so much.

Forestry Work

Once in my life, when I came upon hard times, Grandpa told me of the time he worked for the Forest Service in the 1930's. He said his boss offered him a job -- head forester for the state of Wyoming. It paid $200 a month. Grandpa said thanks but no thanks. He knew he could do carpentry work for $200 a week. So, he went home to Tooele, bought a saw and went to work. He thought I would probably be best off doing the same.

A Wyoming Outfitter

Grandpa used to be a tour guide near Green River, Wyoming. He once took a group twenty five miles into the back country. He said one fellow (Mr. Banta) was a little arrogant and didn't listen to what he was told about not walking behind a horse. The fellow walked behind a horse that kicked a lot and it kicked the fellow. He flew through the air about 11 feet and his neck landed on a rock. It broke his neck. The group was in the middle of unpacking and had to hurry and pack and get back down the trail. They put the man on his horse and rode out the full twenty five miles. Grandpa said he lived through the experience, but died three years later, "from the effects" of the kick. I asked Grandpa if they put a splint on his neck. He said they didn't. "His neck swelled up bad and that's what kept him alive," he said.

At one time, the rest of the family was involved in "outfitting." He said that when he took his daughter fishing, you didn't need a net. Grandpa said that would impress the customers by just reaching into the water and having such a strong grip that the fish didn't get away.

On one occasion, grandpa mentioned a rich man he knew. He said his name was Ernie with his last name as Strong, perhaps. Ernie bought a station wagon, one hundred dollars worth of comic books and took his children on a cross country tour of the United States. Ernie was mad because he spent all that money and time touring and his children never saw any of it. They just read comic books the whole time.

Grandpa knew of a dude ranch where the Free Masons liked to go. Grandpa said the ranch had the best fly fishing in the nation. One day, one of the Masons drove up with a suitcase containing one million dollars in cash. The owner turned them down, "It's not for sale," he told them. Grandpa didn't say. But he implied the ranch was worth less than one million dollars.

Work Ethic

In an accident while working on our house in Big Elk Meadows, CO, Grandpa's arm was broken.  Dr. Kletcher in Longmont spent 30 minutes setting the break in his fore arm. He had to feel that all the points where lined up. Grandpa had to wear the cast one year. During this time, Grandpa needed to shingle his roof. Our family was in Canada vacationing and there wasn't any other help. He said he had to use his left hand to do it. However, the shingling was all OK. The hard part was lifting the squares of shingles up to the roof. Each square weighed 120 pounds.

He told me he bought the squares wholesale from a construction company. But, they were all colored differently. When he finished, he said he never saw such a mess of colors. So, he bought some aluminum based paint and painted them all white.

As the years passed, he couldn't use the tools of his trade. For one reason and another, they disappeared from his tool shed. He said he missed his $28, twenty four ounce corrugated framing hammer the most.

Pine Canyon

During Christmas 1999, Grandpa ate a lot of turkey. He got a plate from someone that didn't have dressing. He commented he was missing the best part. Then he started relating his past.

When he was growing up in Pine Canyon, near Tooele, Utah, he helped raise turkeys. When the wind would blow, the grasshoppers would blow and the turkeys would chase them. The only thing he could do was ride ahead of them and bull whip them back. He said the turkeys were mean.  When one was sick, the other would peck it to death.

There was a time when some animal was killing the turkeys at night. There were ten or twelve killed, two mornings in a row. The third night grandpa guarded the coop with a shot gun. At 1:00 AM, two big owls flew in from the canyon and grandpa got both of them. No more dead turkeys were found.

Grandpa somewhat regrets raising his family in Tooele because he already knew there wasn't any money there (during the depression.) He said today, a ton of hay costs $80-$90. Back in the 1930's, it cost $5-$8. He would haul a ton into town (from Pine Canyon,) driving a team of horses (then he moaned) just to find out that they didn't have the money to pay for it.

Also in Pine Canyon, they had a telephone. Back then, it was a party line with twenty five neighbors. When the phone rang, they all rang. Sometimes, they would all pick it up to listen in. The batteries weren't strong enough to power all of the phones. So, when too many people where on the line, nobody could hear anything. So, they would all have to hang up. I think the modern system is a little better now.

During the prohibition, there were some Japanese that had a sake still. It stank terribly.  The pigs all gathered around it. One day, the Tooele Sheriff came, destroyed the still, and broke the barrels by rolling them down the hill. Grandpa had to walk past where the barrels that were broken and he said it stank for weeks on end. He could hardly stand going past the point, although he had to. (I say better a destroyed barrel than a destroyed life.)

Once I visited Grandpa and brought the family. Ben was about 5 years old and caught grasshoppers. Grandpa said one year they went out to bail hay and they only bailed grasshoppers.


Grandpa said his father in-law, Alma Nielsen, had some very tall sage brush. Perhaps they were five or six feet high. Once someone wanted him to cut them down, for whatever reason. Grandpa Alma said he wouldn't. Every time there was a bad winter storm, a herd would lose two or three head of cattle--except for Grandpa Alma. His loses tended to be less because his cattle could get some cover from the sage brush.

Some of the folks boarding at Grandpa Ray's current property wanted to plant some alfalfa. Grandpa told them they would have to keep the horses off of it. He said that he and three others drilled (planted) one thousand acres in Vernon, UT once. He thought he would freeze to death that winter. It took three years for the grass to come in strong enough for the cattle to walk on it without killing it.

Then the cattle could graze on it.


The amusement park on the Great Salt Lake was called Saltair. I think he and grandma courted there. He said the dance hall was big. They would start dancing when a song started. When the song stopped, they were only half the way around the hall. He spoke about how literally hard the water was. He said every year there were three or five people that would jump from the dock into the water and brake their neck because the Great Salt Lake water was "harder than concrete."


Grandpa said that when dad was born, he (dad) would crawl out of the crib upon hearing Grandpa's voice. Dad wouldn't crawl out of the crib for anyone else's voice--just Grandpa's. Grandma got a kick out of that.

At this same visit, I asked Grandpa if his dad was in scouts. Instead he told me about when he was a scout leader. He said one year, there was a race over an 8 ft wall. He said his troop would have won if it weren't for the Japanese troop who had a good training facility. Grandpa said he was able to throw his scouts over without them hardly touching the wall--and they still lost.

The year after that there was such a bad snow storm that there were hundreds of deer that died.  Deer only have a 20-24 inch leg. They couldn't get through to find food. Elk fared better. Elk have long legs like a horse. Some deer bunched up in a heard where one doe would walk a few hundred yards. The lead would fall back in to the heard to rest. Another would lead for a while.  Some deer walked along the shore of the Great Salt Lake where the snow would melt. The deer were reported to walk to Ogden this way, then on towards Idaho.

Grandpa said his scout troop was regularly taught by a Geology professor from the University of Utah. This explains part of his high interest in Geology in his later years.

I asked Grandpa if he ever shot an elk in Utah. He said there were a lot. He had shot 30 or 50. (I've forgotten the exact number now.)

On another occasion, he said big horn sheep were the best eating of any wild game. He also said bison were the hardest of any animal to raise -- even little ones. He said that the ones at Yellowstone were a little mean. They poke the elk in the stomach with their horns to hurt them.


Dad said that Grandpa shot his gun every day. When Grandpa's fishing line would get caught in the tree, grandpa would take out his .22 caliber pistol and shoot the tree limb until the fishing line was free.

Conoco Refinery

When Grandpa first moved to Colorado, he worked at the Oil Refinery on Interstate 270. Most people that drive on the Interstate know it for its pungent odor. He said there were pipe fitters that needed scaffolding. It was his job to build it. He had 19 acres of concrete to walk on. His feet would get so swollen that, he "couldn't get his feet into his shoes." He said about half the men were afraid to climb the scaffolding and work. So, he would have to climb up and show them how to do it. Because he was there superior and older than them, they knew they wouldn't have a job if they still didn't want to do it when he could.


Grandpa was on the team that won the state championship for High School football. They never won it before nor since. He told me about the practice once. They would practice until the sun would go down and no one could see any longer. It was during the depression. So, some players had cars.  But no one could afford gas. So, he had to walk home five miles one way. He said if they wanted to go to a dance or a show afterwards, then he would walk the five miles, turn around and go back to town to see the show.

He said one time they played a non-LDS religious school (he told me the name once.) He said they won either 136 or 146 to zero. The biggest victory he had -- perhaps that Tooele had. One day, grandpa was somewhere and a big, well dressed teenager got out of a car. He thought he looked a lot like a football player and asked if he was one. The boy was, and his father played for a non-LDS religious school in Salt Lake City in 1933 or 1934 that was beaten by Tooele 136 or 146 to zero. Grandpa thought that that was an odd coincident.

Grandpa also raced in track. He weighed about 170 pounds. In football he weighed 135 pounds. I said that sounded backwards. He insisted he was right.


When he attended Weber State University, he lived near the Ogden, UT fourth ward chapel. The college was three miles away, uphill. He had to walk it, back and forth every day. He said his shin splints were so bad that nothing could touch his legs -- not even his pant legs. He asked what I did for a living. I said I did computer work. He said if he had a computer, he could have survived his biology class. He said the professor gave them 100 scientific tree names per night to memorize and dissect. It took him all night to do just that one assignment. He didn't have time to read biology, neither do his calculus nor other subjects. But, he reasoned that if he had a computer, he might have been able to do it.

After that, Grandpa may have worked in the smelter. He said if I wanted to have a hard job, that I could haul and stack 300 copper ingots that weighed 300 pounds apiece. Three hundred was on day's shift. He said that when the high school football coach wanted to discipline him and the team, he would send them to the reverberator to stack copper ingots. Grandpa said the reverberator was real loud. "You never heard a racket until you heard the reverberator," he said. It used to blow the slag off of the refined copper. It was about the size of his 5 acre lot. When they turned the reverberator on, you could hear it all over the valley. He said one time they turned it on and it blew the roof off. You could see it (the roof) floating in the air 50 or 60 feet above the ground. He worked on the carpenter gang a few summers. They had to repair the roof on the reverberator. It was a dirty job.

I asked him if he had to breath smoke in the reverberator. "All I did was breath smoke," he said.  Some workers in another building had to have their blood drawn and measured for lead. The ironic thing was that these factory workers tended to live longer than the office workers. He said he knew all the office workers by name. And, all of them died before the age of seventy. But, most of the factory workers lived longer than that.

Brother Van

He felt Van (Grandpa Ray's brother) was "on his way to the top [of the church]" because he could preach and sing. He always was a top dresser regardless of what kind of job he held. He could make next to nothing and still look well dressed.

Dad was in New Zealand at the time. Grandpa said he had no desire to go to the tropics -- where dad had been traveling frequently. But, he wouldn't mind going to New Zealand. That's were Van went on his mission. He (Van) collected ferns specimens, flowers, sea shells, and plants. They were all loaded into a trunk. When Van got home, they couldn't pay for the shipping. The trunk stayed at the train station until, eventually, the trunk was lost.

Grandpa said, "I hope all you boys get the chance to go to the Salt Lake Temple before too long." (We had all been to other temples like the Provo and the Denver Temple.) He felt we would know more what the church was about if we would go through the Salt Lake City Temple too. Then he spoke highly of the art work found there.

Bombing Platforms

Near the end of world war two, Grandpa built bombing platforms in the water of the Great Salt Lake. They cost about 100 thousand dollars to build. Not long after these targets were completed, the war ended. The targets were forgotten. The government waste bothered Grandpa.

Lafayette Water Table

Grandpa had to get his water from a well ever since he lived in Lafayette, CO. Lafayette was an old mining town. Grandpa's and the neighbor's property was on part of the mines. When his neighbor drilled his well, there was wood pulp in the water. The wood pulp was from the lumber in the mine shafts. The neighbor had to change his filter once a month because it would get clogged with the pulp.

One day, one of the neighbors to the West had an offer from an oil company for drilling an oil well. If the oil well contaminated Grandpa's well plus just one of the other neighbors wells, then the state would sue the oil company. The state would then force the oil company to in haul fresh water to the plaintiffs. The "West" neighbor did drill. Oil did come in to Grandpa's well and one of the neighbors to the South. Grandpa complained. But, the neighbor to the South refused to complain. So, both of them had to haul their own water for months or longer.

Snow 23 MAR 2000

Today Grandpa talked about how the snow came across the desert from Oregon. These were the biggest storms. It would come across the Great Salt Lake and usually go toward Salt Lake City. Occasionally, it would concentrate on the Tooele valley. Once, Grandpa, Grandma and another gentleman went elk hunting on "Bally" (Mountain?), near where Grandpa got his first elk. At 8 am, the group was going to go home if the other gentleman shot his elk. He didn't. His son was riding behind them at a slower pace, a half mile back. The man left his bullets with his son. So, the man didn't have any ammunition to shoot his elk. It started to storm. They kept hunting and the snow kept falling. Finally, that night, they got home at 1 am or 2 am and four feet of snow had fallen. Grandpa bets that Grandma Aurelia never forgot that day.

Hurt Shoulder 6 MAR 2000

The wind blew grandpa down while he was feeding his horse "Punk" one evening. He caught the side of the car and it cracked his collar bone or something. From then on, both of his shoulders bothered him.

He constantly wanted to know what the family was doing. He was disappointed he didn't get more phone calls and letters from us. He asked me a few days later what I knew. I forgot about him hurting his shoulder and I lightly suggested they all had broken arms. He rebuked me saying no one in the family had two arms as bad as his. He said that he was going to have to get a new bank. He had trouble lifting his arms up to the drive up teller window. His shoulders hurt too bad. It made me wish I had some news to tell him so I didn't have to be creative about any excuses.

Pearl Harbor 31 MAR 2000

The Benton (or Denton) family lived in Vernon Creek's canyon. He was a General that fought and died in Pearl Harbor just before World War Two. During the battle, the soldiers tried to fire their guns at the attacking Japanese airplanes. They discovered that they had guns, but no ammunition and lost, in part, due to that.

Grandpa lived in Pine Canyon. Between his house and the smelter was a Japanese camp. One of the youth from the Japanese camp graduated from Tooele High School (THS). This particular youth fought in Pearl Harbor for the Japanese. He died in the battle. When they discovered his body, his "THS" pin was pinned to his shirt.


Tooele Transcript Bulletin Online Edition, 28 Mar 2002:

Ray Ashby McBride

Ray Ashby McBride, 86, of Lafayette, Co., a former longtime resident of Tooele, passed a way on Sunday March 24, 2002 in Boulder, Co., of causes incident to age.

Ray was born Feb. 13, 1916 in Tooele to John Sheridan and Elizabeth Ann Ashby McBride.

Ray married his sweetheart, Aurelia Nielsen June 30, 1937 in the Salt Lake Temple, (later divorced). He married Viola Luna in Colorado, (later divorced).

He is survived by three children, Janice Irene (Duff), Holladay, Utah. Veldon Ray (Bud) , West Jordan (Colleen), and James Nielsen (Betsy, who was always there for Dad), Lyons, Colo.; Nine grandchildren, including his special grandson and little pal he helped to raise, Phillip Guy Duff (wife, Francis), 13 great-grandchildren and one great-great-granddaughter.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Martha Ann; a brother, Van Francis; and a granddaughter, Mary Ann Duff.

He was a member of the AFL-CIO and an Elder in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

A special memorial was held Tuesday, March 26 in Louisville, Colo. for his many friends and family.

Services will be held at Tate Mortuary, 110 S. Main St. Tooele, on Friday, March 29 at 1:30 p.m. Viewing for family and friends will be held from 12 to 1 p.m. Burial will take place in the Tooele City Cemetery under the direction of Tate Mortuary.


  • Name variant: Rae [archive record]
  • LDS Family Group Records Collection (Patron Section)
Submitter: Mrs. Janice McBride Duff
Family of: John Sheridan McBride & Elizabeth Ann Ashby
  • McBride, Virginia. Charles R. McBride Memorial, p. 47.
  • Deseret News, Wednesday, 18 Feb 1942, p. 16, Obituary: McBride, John Sheridan
  • The Transcript-Bulletin, Vol. 61, Number 95, Tuesday, May 8, 1956, page 1, Obituary: McBride, Elizabeth Ann Ashby