Ray Piper

February 11, 2024 at 3:23 p.m.


Ray Piper, formerly of Winona Lake, passed away on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024, at his home in Sarasota, Fla., at the age of 96.
He was born on May 5, 1927, to Walter Ray and Ethel Mary Bentz Piper. Ray grew up as the oldest of four boys on a farm in Indiana where he learned the value of hard work and resourcefulness. There was not a task he could not master or a problem he could not solve.
Ray fell in love with his wife Rosemary Spangle as he watched her sing and play the piano at a church event. Although only in their teens, for Ray it was love at first sight and he knew right then he would marry her. They were married on Dec. 14, 1946, the day after Rosemary’s 18th birthday. Ray recently exclaimed, “We’ve been in love for 77 years. I thank our good Lord every day for my sweet Rosemary.”
Soon after their marriage, Ray was appointed as a special agent with the FBI, retiring in 1977. He was assigned to offices in Boston, Newark, Indianapolis and South Bend where he developed many friendships and was admired by many agents and police officers. When he was in Washington, D.C., Ray fondly remembers the times he spent with J. Edgar Hoover.
Thanks to “umpteen” hours of focused practice, Ray achieved master shooter status and taught many agents and police officers at Quantico and throughout New Jersey and Indiana. He was a key player in the development of S.W.A.T. operations and a defense tactics instructor. Ray also loved participating in shooting matches throughout the country, achieving many “possibles.” He vividly remembers being on the FBI pistol team that J. Edgar Hoover lauded for their wins over the famous Greater New York Pistol League.
Ray shared that praying and abiding in Christ were the foundation for his life together with Rosemary. Every evening, they prayed the names of each of their eight children, 26 grandchildren, 49 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. He loved when his family visited so he could continue his interrogation skills by finding out the details of their lives. Ray’s strong character and faith, devotion to his sweet Rosemary, determination to succeed, “never give up” attitude and memorable advice (e.g., “Just grunt” for that extra push when something is hard) left a powerful legacy to his children and all of their families: Deborah (Dennis) Alvater, Rodney Piper, Randall Piper (deceased), Kimra Olde, Pamela (Roger) Piper-Ruth, Laura (Richard) Kingsley, Ryan (Diane) Piper and Reid Piper.
His last breath was taken at home in Sarasota, Fla., with his sweet Rosemary and many of his children at his side.
Ray's life will be celebrated with a service at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024, at Redpath-Fruth Funeral Home, 225 Argonne Road, Warsaw, and officiated by Pastor Larry McCall and Pastor Willard Schieler. A private family graveside service will take place at Eel River Church (Ulrey) Cemetery, Silver Lake.
In memory of Ray’s law enforcement legacy, memorial contributions can be made to Kosciusko County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 149 to support the children of police officers and can be donated through PayPal [email protected]; or mail to FOP Lodge 149 at P.O. Box 832, Warsaw, IN 46580.
Online condolences may be sent through the funeral home’s website at www.redpathfruthfuneralhome.com.
He was born on May 5, 1927, to Walter Ray and Ethel Mary Bentz Piper. Ray grew up as the oldest of four boys on a farm in Indiana where he learned the value of hard work and resourcefulness. There was not a task he could not master or a problem he could not solve.
Ray fell in love with his wife Rosemary Spangle as he watched her sing and play the piano at a church event. Although only in their teens, for Ray it was love at first sight and he knew right then he would marry her. They were married on Dec. 14, 1946, the day after Rosemary’s 18th birthday. Ray recently exclaimed, “We’ve been in love for 77 years. I thank our good Lord every day for my sweet Rosemary.”
Soon after their marriage, Ray was appointed as a special agent with the FBI, retiring in 1977. He was assigned to offices in Boston, Newark, Indianapolis and South Bend where he developed many friendships and was admired by many agents and police officers. When he was in Washington, D.C., Ray fondly remembers the times he spent with J. Edgar Hoover.
Thanks to “umpteen” hours of focused practice, Ray achieved master shooter status and taught many agents and police officers at Quantico and throughout New Jersey and Indiana. He was a key player in the development of S.W.A.T. operations and a defense tactics instructor. Ray also loved participating in shooting matches throughout the country, achieving many “possibles.” He vividly remembers being on the FBI pistol team that J. Edgar Hoover lauded for their wins over the famous Greater New York Pistol League.
Ray shared that praying and abiding in Christ were the foundation for his life together with Rosemary. Every evening, they prayed the names of each of their eight children, 26 grandchildren, 49 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. He loved when his family visited so he could continue his interrogation skills by finding out the details of their lives. Ray’s strong character and faith, devotion to his sweet Rosemary, determination to succeed, “never give up” attitude and memorable advice (e.g., “Just grunt” for that extra push when something is hard) left a powerful legacy to his children and all of their families: Deborah (Dennis) Alvater, Rodney Piper, Randall Piper (deceased), Kimra Olde, Pamela (Roger) Piper-Ruth, Laura (Richard) Kingsley, Ryan (Diane) Piper and Reid Piper.
His last breath was taken at home in Sarasota, Fla., with his sweet Rosemary and many of his children at his side.
Ray's life will be celebrated with a service at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024, at Redpath-Fruth Funeral Home, 225 Argonne Road, Warsaw, and officiated by Pastor Larry McCall and Pastor Willard Schieler. A private family graveside service will take place at Eel River Church (Ulrey) Cemetery, Silver Lake.
In memory of Ray’s law enforcement legacy, memorial contributions can be made to Kosciusko County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 149 to support the children of police officers and can be donated through PayPal [email protected]; or mail to FOP Lodge 149 at P.O. Box 832, Warsaw, IN 46580.
Online condolences may be sent through the funeral home’s website at www.redpathfruthfuneralhome.com.

Ray Piper, formerly of Winona Lake, passed away on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024, at his home in Sarasota, Fla., at the age of 96.
He was born on May 5, 1927, to Walter Ray and Ethel Mary Bentz Piper. Ray grew up as the oldest of four boys on a farm in Indiana where he learned the value of hard work and resourcefulness. There was not a task he could not master or a problem he could not solve.
Ray fell in love with his wife Rosemary Spangle as he watched her sing and play the piano at a church event. Although only in their teens, for Ray it was love at first sight and he knew right then he would marry her. They were married on Dec. 14, 1946, the day after Rosemary’s 18th birthday. Ray recently exclaimed, “We’ve been in love for 77 years. I thank our good Lord every day for my sweet Rosemary.”
Soon after their marriage, Ray was appointed as a special agent with the FBI, retiring in 1977. He was assigned to offices in Boston, Newark, Indianapolis and South Bend where he developed many friendships and was admired by many agents and police officers. When he was in Washington, D.C., Ray fondly remembers the times he spent with J. Edgar Hoover.
Thanks to “umpteen” hours of focused practice, Ray achieved master shooter status and taught many agents and police officers at Quantico and throughout New Jersey and Indiana. He was a key player in the development of S.W.A.T. operations and a defense tactics instructor. Ray also loved participating in shooting matches throughout the country, achieving many “possibles.” He vividly remembers being on the FBI pistol team that J. Edgar Hoover lauded for their wins over the famous Greater New York Pistol League.
Ray shared that praying and abiding in Christ were the foundation for his life together with Rosemary. Every evening, they prayed the names of each of their eight children, 26 grandchildren, 49 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. He loved when his family visited so he could continue his interrogation skills by finding out the details of their lives. Ray’s strong character and faith, devotion to his sweet Rosemary, determination to succeed, “never give up” attitude and memorable advice (e.g., “Just grunt” for that extra push when something is hard) left a powerful legacy to his children and all of their families: Deborah (Dennis) Alvater, Rodney Piper, Randall Piper (deceased), Kimra Olde, Pamela (Roger) Piper-Ruth, Laura (Richard) Kingsley, Ryan (Diane) Piper and Reid Piper.
His last breath was taken at home in Sarasota, Fla., with his sweet Rosemary and many of his children at his side.
Ray's life will be celebrated with a service at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024, at Redpath-Fruth Funeral Home, 225 Argonne Road, Warsaw, and officiated by Pastor Larry McCall and Pastor Willard Schieler. A private family graveside service will take place at Eel River Church (Ulrey) Cemetery, Silver Lake.
In memory of Ray’s law enforcement legacy, memorial contributions can be made to Kosciusko County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 149 to support the children of police officers and can be donated through PayPal [email protected]; or mail to FOP Lodge 149 at P.O. Box 832, Warsaw, IN 46580.
Online condolences may be sent through the funeral home’s website at www.redpathfruthfuneralhome.com.
He was born on May 5, 1927, to Walter Ray and Ethel Mary Bentz Piper. Ray grew up as the oldest of four boys on a farm in Indiana where he learned the value of hard work and resourcefulness. There was not a task he could not master or a problem he could not solve.
Ray fell in love with his wife Rosemary Spangle as he watched her sing and play the piano at a church event. Although only in their teens, for Ray it was love at first sight and he knew right then he would marry her. They were married on Dec. 14, 1946, the day after Rosemary’s 18th birthday. Ray recently exclaimed, “We’ve been in love for 77 years. I thank our good Lord every day for my sweet Rosemary.”
Soon after their marriage, Ray was appointed as a special agent with the FBI, retiring in 1977. He was assigned to offices in Boston, Newark, Indianapolis and South Bend where he developed many friendships and was admired by many agents and police officers. When he was in Washington, D.C., Ray fondly remembers the times he spent with J. Edgar Hoover.
Thanks to “umpteen” hours of focused practice, Ray achieved master shooter status and taught many agents and police officers at Quantico and throughout New Jersey and Indiana. He was a key player in the development of S.W.A.T. operations and a defense tactics instructor. Ray also loved participating in shooting matches throughout the country, achieving many “possibles.” He vividly remembers being on the FBI pistol team that J. Edgar Hoover lauded for their wins over the famous Greater New York Pistol League.
Ray shared that praying and abiding in Christ were the foundation for his life together with Rosemary. Every evening, they prayed the names of each of their eight children, 26 grandchildren, 49 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. He loved when his family visited so he could continue his interrogation skills by finding out the details of their lives. Ray’s strong character and faith, devotion to his sweet Rosemary, determination to succeed, “never give up” attitude and memorable advice (e.g., “Just grunt” for that extra push when something is hard) left a powerful legacy to his children and all of their families: Deborah (Dennis) Alvater, Rodney Piper, Randall Piper (deceased), Kimra Olde, Pamela (Roger) Piper-Ruth, Laura (Richard) Kingsley, Ryan (Diane) Piper and Reid Piper.
His last breath was taken at home in Sarasota, Fla., with his sweet Rosemary and many of his children at his side.
Ray's life will be celebrated with a service at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024, at Redpath-Fruth Funeral Home, 225 Argonne Road, Warsaw, and officiated by Pastor Larry McCall and Pastor Willard Schieler. A private family graveside service will take place at Eel River Church (Ulrey) Cemetery, Silver Lake.
In memory of Ray’s law enforcement legacy, memorial contributions can be made to Kosciusko County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 149 to support the children of police officers and can be donated through PayPal [email protected]; or mail to FOP Lodge 149 at P.O. Box 832, Warsaw, IN 46580.
Online condolences may be sent through the funeral home’s website at www.redpathfruthfuneralhome.com.

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