By Tim Mandese, Cowboy State Daily
A capacity crowd attended the Oregon Trail State Veteran’s Cemetery on Friday to bid farewell to a man most of them never knew.
101-year-old Marine Cpl. Remigio ‘Ray’ Barela died with on Feb. 11, with no known family.
He was buried Friday at Oregon Trail State Veteran’s Cemetery, where a capacity crowd of more than 400 people gathered to pay their respects.
Ray Barela was born in 1918, and joined the Marines at age 23, serving in the Pacific from 1942 to 1946. Joey Casada, manager of Bustards Funeral home, was told by friends that Barela said he had “outlived everyone”.
During Friday’s service, every seat and every standing spot in the cemetery’s chapel were taken, as Rev. Fr. Stephen Ziton spoke to those attending.
“Cpl. Ray was a man of love, because he made himself vulnerable. He was willing to sacrifice himself, give himself to the country he loved.” said Fr. Stephen.
Casper Police Chief Keith McPheeters read a letter from Gov. Mark Gordon, in which the Governor said “Wyoming is proud to remember amd honor one of our own. We don’t know a lot about Mr. Barela, but what we do, is that he was one of those souls, an individual that embodied the spirit of our cowboy heritage through and through.”
As attendees exited the service, many were taken aback by the number of people who, unable to fit inside the cemetery’s chapel, stood outside. The parking lot was at overflow, and the street leading to the Oregon Trail Cemetery was lined with cars.