No funeral planned for broadcasting pioneer Dottie Ray

Family promoting volunteerism, charitable giving

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IOWA CITY — No funeral services are planned for longtime Iowa City radio personality Dottie Ray.

Ray, who spent 55 years at radio station KXIC 800 AM, where she broadcast a daily 15-minute show, died Tuesday at age 93.

Her obituary was published online Wednesday by the Lensing Funeral & Cremation Service of Iowa City.

Mike O’Brien, director of the funeral home, said it was the wish of Ray’s family to not have a service, as Ray was able to attend the June showing of a documentary made in her honor. O’Brien said the family felt her in-person attendance at the screening of “Staying Tuned: The Dottie Ray Story” was the best goodbye Ray could have given.

Ray’s obituary echoes that statement.

“On June 22, 2016, Dottie had the luxury of attending the premiere of a documentary that has been created to honor her life,” the obituary states. “At the conclusion of the documentary, Dottie said she felt she had attended her own wake and that it had been a wonderful party. Because of this and as per her wishes there will not be a service. Please celebrate her life by loving your family, cultivating friendships, listening to the stories of others, and doing all you can to make the world a better place.”

Ray, whose actual first name was Dorothy, retired from doing the “Dottie Ray Show” in 2014 at age 91. During her career, she interviewed more than 32,000 guests during more than 14,000 shows, which she conducted from her Iowa City home.

According to her obituary, Ray was born in Eagle Grove on Sept. 20, 1922. After graduating from Eagle Grove High School and Eagle Grove Junior College she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism from the University of Iowa.

She served as editor of the Daily Iowan, the school’s student newspaper, during her time there.

Ray married Robert Ray in 1947 and in 1949, the couple returned to Iowa City, where Robert Ray joined the UI faculty as the first director of the Institute of Public Affairs, according to her obituary.

Since the “Dottie Ray Show” centered on informing the community about events, fundraisers, charities and other organizations, Ray’s family is hoping to promote volunteering and charitable donations in Ray’s name.

Her obituary includes the following: “In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you pick your favorite organization and donate your time, your money or something from the organization’s wish list.”

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