DES MOINES, Iowa -- Robert D. Ray dedicated his life to serving Iowans. Today Iowans are being asked to show their final respects to him.
Ray, Iowa's 38th Governor, passed away on Sunday at the age of 89. He served as Iowa's chief executive from 1969 until 1983 when he was succeeded by Lieutenant Governor Terry Branstad. Ray is most famously remembered for welcoming Tai Dam refugees to Iowa in the middle of the Vietnam War. The act of diplomacy likely saved their lives and created a new community in Iowa.
Ray would go on to serve as Interim Mayor of Des Moines and later President of Drake University.
Tonight Ray will become the 9th Iowan to lie in state at the State Capitol. Before arriving at the Capitol, Ray's family is going on a trip down memory lane with a procession through Des Moines ... and that's where help is needed.
Iowans are being asked the line the streets along the procession route that will pass places that were important in Ray's life. At approximately 3:45 a motorcade will head West on Grand past Terrace Hill then Roosevelt High School, Drake University and Des Moines City Hall. The motorcade will then head to the State Capitol, arriving around 5:00pm.
A short ceremony will be held when the motorcade arrives at the State Capitol. Governor Robert D. Ray will then lie in state in the Capitol rotunda. The public is invited to pay their respects from 5:30-8:30pm tonight. Visitors are asked to arrive early at the South doors. They will need to pass through security.
Governor Kim Reynolds has requested that flags be flown at half staff in honor of Robert D. Ray all day Thursday and Friday.