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Stevensville, Montana, 59870
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Raymond Eugene "Topper" Tracy

Born: Mon., Jan. 2, 1939
Died: Thu., Dec. 10, 2020

Recitation of the Rosary

6:00 PM Mon., Dec. 14, 2020
Location: Whitesitt Funeral Home

Mass of Christian Burial

11:00 AM Sat., Jan. 02, 2021
Location: St. Mary's Mission Parish

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Stevensville - Raymond “Topper” Eugene Tracy, 81 entered the gates of Heaven from his home in Stevensville MT on December 10, 2020. He was born January 2, 1939 in Anaconda, MT to Jack and Fran Tracy. Faith in the Lord and sports had always been a huge part of Topper’s life. During high school he became the first Montana player to become both basketball and football WIGWAM All American. Topper went to Boise State to play football, but he desperately missed Montana. He transferred after a semester to Carroll College where he quickly met his soon to be wife, Cathy Peila, of 60 years and mother of their 7 children. Topper, Cathy and their three little boys moved from Helena to Miles City for his first teaching job at the Pine Hills State School in August 1963, where later his four daughters were born. After one year he transferred to Custer County High School where he taught English for 28 years. His final year of teaching took place, after his move in 1991, at Loyola Sacred Heart in Missoula. During his teaching years, he coached football, basketball, gymnastic, speech and debate. It didn’t take long for Topper to catch the horse racing fever (with a big shove from his brother-in-law Joe Peila) while in Eastern Montana. In 1972 he started training race horses during the spring and summer. Which brought our family to many tracks across the United States including our biggest adventure to upstate New York, Tioga Park. In 1983 Topper became the publisher/editor of The Racing Journal magazine for 25 years, which gave mom a second job. If you stopped by the house during the last week of the month, you were sure to see the magazine layout all over the front room floor and were asked to proof read a page or two. With all of his experience, expertise and passion for horse racing he was appointed by the Governor to serve on the Montana Board of Horse Racing. After dad retired from teaching in Miles City, they packed up and moved back to Western Montana in 1991. They resided in Stevensville near the beautiful Bitterroot Mountains and Georgetown Lake where there was plenty of fly fishing and time to share his love of it with his grandkids. You could also catch him enjoying spending time with his grandchildren watching their basketball, football, rodeo, and soccer games, plus countless summer vacations that included boating, camping, horseback riding and sleeping on the trampoline. The love of the Lord has never diminished, he was a longtime member of the St. Mary’s Parish, Stevensville. He was preceded in death by his parents, sister, daughter Lisa Harder in 2000 and son Ray Jr. in 2020. He is survived by his wife Cathy, daughter-in-law Sherri (Ray) of Bondurant IA, sons Greg (Jodee) of Dublin TX, Jimmy of Stevensville MT, son-in-law Tim Harder (Lisa) of Enumclaw WA, daughters Liz (Zack) Camel of Polson MT , Rita of Henderson NV, Jennifer (Kevin)Schultz of Stevensville MT. Grandchildren Ashlee (Mike), Tanner (Erin), Jake, Caitlin (Chad), Blakele, Geena, Jaslyn, Baylee, Raegan (Wyatt), Zachary, Christopher, Brianne, Ryanne, Savannah, Isaac, Alicia, Rowen, Anthony, Cody. Great Grandchildren, Tyson, Kylynn, EmmaLisa, Racin, Tatum, Caleb, Ryden, Aspen, Tyson, Quinton. Sisters Dotsie (Guy) Monaco of Anaconda MT, Ginger (Terry) McNally of Denver, CO and numerous nieces and nephews. The Rosary will be recited Monday, December 14, 2020 at 6:00 P.M. at Whitesitt Funeral Home. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, January 2, 2021 at 11:00 A.M. at St. Mary’s Parish. Interment will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery.

Live Link:https://montana-student.webex.com/montana-student/j.php?MTID=me4a8f0e04c26cc612c1205a0637a17e8

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Laurel McMahon
   Posted Fri December 11, 2020
What a legacy.

Sending much love to the Tracy family.

Laurie Lang-McMahon and family

   Posted Fri December 11, 2020
Well I have been thinking about Topper this week. What a Character and Jolly man. A smile a mile long. He will be missed. My condolences to Cac and my cousins. As we all know it sure went fast. Prayers. Sam

Lee and Linda Scharff
   Posted Fri December 11, 2020
Enjoy the wonderful memories of a life well lived!

Phyllis Tryon
   Posted Sat December 12, 2020

Designers Choice was sent by The Tryons.

Our hearts are with all the family. Treasuring all the great memories of a really great man. Love, The Tryons - Phyllis, Rick, Connie and Melaina

Frank Tooke
   Posted Sun December 13, 2020
Topper was a dynamic guy, a great sportsman and always a character. Please accept my deepest sympathy.

Orene Harder
   Posted Sun December 13, 2020
The Harder family has been blessed to be a part of the Tracy family. I have always admired the closeness of the Tracy’s—a real tribute to Topper and Cathy.

Susan Otley
   Posted Sun December 13, 2020
A great guy who would try anything--no fear.
I was making plans to get to the funeral, but decided the weather is not cooperating. I will say a prayer instead.
Thinking of all of You,
Susie O.

Barbara Boe Anderson
   Posted Sun December 13, 2020
I had Mr. Tracy for Sophomore English and I remember him being a kind and excellent teacher. As a faculty kid I knew most of the teachers snd their families, and it was nice to welcome the Tracy family into the faculty family. My deepest condolences to the Tracy family!

Shirley and Dwayne Manson
   Posted Mon December 14, 2020
So sorry to hear of Topper’s passing. He was a very nice and compassionate man. Our hearts and prayers go out to all his family.

LaDona Yerian
   Posted Mon December 14, 2020
My thoughts and prayers are with Cathy and the Tracy Family- I have great memories on the track and in Miles City with Topper and Cathy.

Sis & Don Tocher
   Posted Tue December 15, 2020
Topper. Thinking of you this morning and remembering all the good times we cousins had at the Tracy Family picnics at warm springs campground, Spring Hill and Foster Creek . Such good memories of growing up in a close knit family.We Tocher’s send our condolences to Kathy and family. God Bless!,

Laurie Paladichuk
   Posted Tue December 15, 2020
Topper and I were "birthday twins" so I always thought of him every Jan 2. He was a great guy in so many ways. I thoroughly enjoyed teaching with him and getting to know him. What a wonderful family he and Cathy raised. Truly a legacy to be proud of. Prayers and hugs to you all.

Dan Herzog
   Posted Tue December 15, 2020
Thoughts and prayers for your family

Glenna Chapman
   Posted Tue December 15, 2020
I will always appreciate how kind Ray was to me as a new, young, scared teacher in Miles City. He stopped by my room often to see how I was doing and to share a funny story to brighten my day. He talked so lovingly about his best friend, Kathy, and their growing family. What a rich legacy he left of kindness, love and strength. My sympathy to you, Kathy, and the entire family. 😘

Sheri Hanson Parker (Gruba)
   Posted Wed December 16, 2020
I saw the obituary in the Miles City Star. I have wondered about you often over the years. I'm so sorry that Topper passed away. It really sounds like you have had a pretty good life Cathy. I have thought about when we played pinochle. And Cathy when you and I would play cards while Ray, my leo Vincent would play outside. We had some good times together during Day and Leo Gruba's college day
Sheri Hanson Gruba Parker
.much love to you all. I only knew Ray, and Greg.

Diane Connors Rewerts
   Posted Thu December 17, 2020
Dear Tracy Family,
Have good memories of the time spent with the Tracy family in Miles City. So sorry to read of Topper's passing.
Diane Connors Rewerts

Pete Stabio
   Posted Wed December 23, 2020
I was sorry to learn of Ray's passing. We had a lot of shared experiences during our teaching careers at CCDHS. Ray was a loyal friend and a true gentleman. I know his passion for life and love of western Montana made his retirement years very enjoyable and fulfilling.

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