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Ray Denbesten

BLOOMINGTON – Ray C. Denbesten, 68, of Bloomington, passed away peacefully in his sleep Thursday (April 6, 2017) at his home.

Ray was born March 14, 1949, in South Holland, the son of Cornelius “Neal” Denbesten and Edna VerDught. He married Irene Niemczyk on July 1, 1972, in Sycamore. She survives.

Also surviving are his daughters, Cathy Denbesten, Bloomington, and Carol (Walter) Yee, Swansea; sisters, Linda (Al) Jones, Burr Ridge, and Lois (Roger) Nietering, Mesa Ariz.; grandchildren, Rebecca Yee, Samuel Yee, Corinne Miller and Norah Miller. He was preceded in death by his parents. 

Ray was a real estate property owner/manager in Bloomington for many years after pursuing his dream to own apartments and commercial property. He enjoyed caring for his tenants and took great pride in managing the buildings to ensure everyone had a nice place to call home or to do business. He passed this love on to his grandchildren through their never-ending games of Monopoly.

Ray grew up running and swimming. He enjoyed horses, campfires and chess and thrived on taking calculated risks and negotiations. A good piece of lemon meringue or blueberry pie would sometimes bring a negotiated price of $10 in the Denbesten household. If you see a crisp $2 bill, remember Ray.

As per Ray’s wishes, there will be a funeral visitation from 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesday at First Presbyterian Church, Normal, followed by a funeral service at 1 p.m. Burial will take place at East Lawn Memorial Gardens, Bloomington. Memorial contributions may be made to Home Sweet Home Ministries and YoungLife.

Condolences may be shared with the family at

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