Ray Thornton Zeyer

May 23, 1930 ‒ January 28, 2021

Westerville, Ohio
Formerly of St. Clairsville, Ohio


Ray Thornton Zeyer, 90 of Westerville, and formerly of St. Clairsville, Ohio passed away peacefully early Thursday morning, January 28, 2021 at Mount Carmel St. Ann’s Hospital in Westerville, after a courageous battle with COVID.

Born May 23, 1930 in Harrison County, Ohio, to the late William Ray & Erma (Thornton) Zeyer. Ray graduated from Franklin High School in 1948, and would go on to serve in the United States Air Force. He would be stationed in the Philippines during the Korean War. He was Honorably Discharged and would make his way back to Ohio. He met the love of his life Vivian Stewart and they married shortly after. Ray was a lifelong member of the First Presbyterian Church in St. Clairsville, and was an elder in the church, he was also a member of the Masonic Lodge.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and sisters Virginia (Phillip) McNaughton and Doris (Henry) Jahn.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife Vivian of 66 years; daughter Renee Whitaker; grandchildren Dawn (Jarrod) McClain, Tacy (Scott) Osler, Erin (Andrew) Rinehart, and Trevor Whitaker; great- grandchildren Cameron, Tyson, Reese, Justis, Grace, Owen, Bree, Jack, and Amrynn; numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Ray loved everything horses, whether he was showing, observing their natural beauty, or riding them. He would participate in every local parade, and would carry the American Flag on horseback. Ray also enjoyed cars, especially the ones that would go fast. His favorite was a Red Convertible, that he even let Vivian drive. He also enjoyed vacationing at the lake house in Seneca Lake, Ohio every weekend during the summer months. His family and those close to him will remember him as the faithful, loving, and family-oriented man that he was.

Memorial services celebrating Ray’s life will be held at the St. Clairsville First Presbyterian Church in the spring, once COVID restrictions are lifted.

To share a fond memory or to leave a message of condolence please visit www.snyderfuneralhomes.com

The Snyder-Rodman Funeral Center in Delaware is assisting the family with arrangements.


  • Renee,
    I am deeply saddened by the loss that you and your family have encountered. Ray was such a sweet and charismatic patient to take care of. He brought so much sunshine to every night shift I shared with him. I will never forget how much he enjoyed singing with me and just how much he truly cared for all of us here. I’m so happy we could facilitate you and Erin to see him in his last hours. I know he truly enjoyed your visit as well as when we set up the face time with your mother. If it brings you any solace I know he wasn’t alone when he passed. I made sure to check in on my night off and they said one of the nurses was in his room holding his hand when he passed. I will be keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Renee,
    I am sorry so to hear of your dad’s passing. Your parents have been friends of my parents for many years and I will never forget your dad’s kindness when he drove my mother to Cleveland Clinic to be with my dad who was transported there for open heart surgery several years ago. He was such a blessing to our family at that time. Your mom and dad are special people and we really missed them at church when they moved from St. C. My prayers are with you and your mother and family at this difficult time.
    Darcy Evick Porterfield

  • We are so sorry to hear of Ray’s passing. Over the years we have thoroughly enjoyed his humor and great smiles. God bless you all in this difficult time.
    John and Pattie Patton

  • Renee and family,
    Dad, Dave and I send much love to you all. It is with hearts full of love and laughter that we remember your dad. He, like my mom, was a force of nature. I believe that is why they always enjoyed each other’s company. That, and their love for your Mom made them kindred spirits . I bet they’re re-living good times in Heaven together.
    Love, Vickey

  • Renee and family, We all will miss your dad and our “uncle.” We were blessed to share his love and wonderful sense of humor. Let your mom know that we share her loss and we are praying for her and all of you. Love you all. Don and Rhoda

  • Renee, so sorry to hear about your dad, he brought so much joy to all with his stories, jokes and kindness. He will be missed. We will be praying for your mom and family.
    God Bless
    Randy and Maria

  • Ray & Vi are our Seneca Lake neighbors and we have enjoyed talking with them over the years and sharing time watching our beautiful sunsets together. Our deepest sympathy to all the family.
    Rich & Patty Wieloh

  • Renee, you and your Mom, my dear cousin are in my prayers. We had some good times together with lots of talking and laughing. So much fun to be around. He will be missed. Take care and know you are loved. Mel and Beverly Vince.

  • Renee and Family,

    We are so sorry for your loss!

    I met Ray and Viv about 5yrs ago as we were at the lake watching one of the beautiful sunsets. From the moment I met them, they became part of my daily routine at the lake. The next day, the next sunset, my wife and kids joined me, and I introduced them to Ray and Viv.

    The stories they told of the lives they lived perfectly complimented our time watching the sunset. We missed them this past year and will continue to do so. Every time I watch the sunset, the memory of shared sunsets will fill my mind and make me smile.

    You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers!

    Nathan Bobek

  • To all Ray’s family,

    Dick and I so enjoyed the many evenings we had at Seneca Lake watching the sunsets with Ray and Vivian. We loved Ray;s stories of growing up in eastern Ohio and his days in the service. We once wondered how many sunsets we had seen from the point over the 50 years we have spent at the lake. I am sorry to know there won’t we more to share together.

    Dick and Shari Shemenski

  • We are so sorry to hear about Ray’s passing. We will miss seeing Viv and him riding on their golf cart at Seneca Lake. I, Charlotte, will miss his stories. We send thoughts and hugs to the family.

    Charlotte & Tom McCartney

  • To Aunt Vivian, Renee, Tacy, Erin, Trevor, Dawn and your children:

    The salutation above, is a great tribute to Uncle Ray in itself, as he loved you and showed his love to each of you. He was proud of each of you for your own accomplishments and family was the most important thing to him. He shared with all his passions and knowledge of many things. Uncle Ray was one of a kind and has always been there for each of us. I am so glad to have the honor to have been/be part of his/your family. Much love and hugs to each of you. Shelley

  • Uncle Ray . He loved life and made everyone’s life greater just by being himself. His mile high charisma was always so fun to be around, whether it was fishing, playing cards, dominos, whatever. It was a blast to just sit down and have a sandwich with the man. His stories and humor are never gone but he is and I miss him.

  • Vivian and Renee: Love and Peace to you and the family. My thoughts and caring for you as our family is our sharing of gratitude and blessing to us all for being one of the family of Zeyers.

  • So sorry to hear of Ray’s passing. I really enjoyed seeing him when he and Vivian were in town. I cut his hair and also did Vivian’s hair. All the stories he shared will be greatly missed. The love he had for family was apparent by the way he lit up while talking about everyone. He will be missed by many. Prayers for Vivian and all family members.

  • Offering my deepest condolences to Vivian and the family. May God wrap His loving Arms around all of you. Take care of yourself, Viv, I always miss you so much.

    Love, Katie Weekley

  • Vivian, I’m so sorry to hear of Ray’s passing. I always found him to be a nice pleasant person to talk to when he would come into JCPenney. Your kindness when my father passed away has not been forgotten either. You both were always very nice people. I wish peace for you and your family as you go through this difficult time.

    God Bless,
    Kathy Gummere

  • Vivian and Renee, you have our heartfelt condolences. Ray was such a joy to be around. We loved to see him at church, especially at the dinners. He always had such a positive attitude and a wonderful sense of humor.
    Vivian, I’ve been looking through Mom’s poems. Knowing how much she loved you and Ray, I’m certain there must be one dedicated to the two of you, but I’m overwhelmed as I read these today, which would have been her 108th birthday.
    This is one I feel she would send to you, if she could.
    O, do not say your loved one “died”!
    ‘Tis but the mortal frame!
    All living souls with God abide,
    Return from whence they came!
    Remember, man is shaped from clay;
    God blew His holy breath
    Upon that form, and to this day
    The soul cannot know death!
    Lord Jesus said, “Believe on me
    And you shall never die!
    Though you were dead, yet shall you live
    Eternally on high!”
    He kneels beside you as you pray –
    His hand rests on your head;
    Just listen and you’ll hear Him say,
    “Your loved one is not dead!”
    “He lives in Me and I in you –
    Conjoined forever, we!
    His boundless love enriched anew
    Through all Eternity!”
    Jessie Pollock, June 1999

    With our love and prayers, Nell & Terry

  • Renee and all of the Family,
    I am so very sorry to hear about Ray and especially under all the circumstances.
    Ray and Paul grew up together and rode ponies all over the countryside. I went to High School and the Beach with Vivian. Then we were friends as couples and had many good times with them.
    I know your dad always loved horses (real and glass ones ). I had that in common with him – mainly the real ones.
    Sending my deepest sympathy. Sincerely, Sara Spragg

  • Renee,
    I didn’t mention Vivian in my condolences but I have been in touch with her by phone and also by sending her a card. Just so you know, I will definitely continue to keep in touch with her. Sara

  • Renee,
    Our deepest sympathy to you and your mom. Your dad will be remembered always for his smile and his stories that made us all smile and laugh. Give your mom a hug for us. Love you and Vivian, my dear cousins.

    Peggy and Tom

  • Renee and family. He was a dandy. I will miss him. He will be greeting someone in his new residence.