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Ray 'Blaise' Koep

| December 12, 2020 1:00 AM

Memorial Mass for Ray Blaise Koep will be at 1:00 in the afternoon on Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, at St. Thomas Catholic Church in Coeur d’Alene. Bell Tower Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Blaise was born in Pensacola, Fla., on July 25, 1943. His family moved to Coeur d’Alene a few weeks later. He attended St. Thomas grade school and then IHM Academy, graduating in 1961. Blaise attended Gonzaga for 2 years before joining the Navy.

While serving as an enlisted man he found he was eligible for flight school in Pensacola. He received his wings in August of 1966. He was stationed in Corpus Christi, Texas, for two years as a flight instructor, before being transferred to the fleet and becoming a P3 pilot. While stationed at Moffett Field in the Bay Area, he deployed to Alaska, Japan and Viet Nam. After leaving the Navy he worked for Lockheed and was the chief pilot for the Iranian program for P3’s.

In 1976 Blaise was ready to return to Idaho, and settled in Post Falls. For a while he worked for Sverdsten Logging, driving a truck, and then moved to Roth Brothers Logging. He also worked at Grocery Warehouse for 2 years.

Blaise was then hired at the Kootenai County Jail as a control room operator in 1992. He worked there until his retirement in 2007. During this time he also drove a school bus for Post Falls. He drove kids for sports, along with a regular route. He loved the kids and made sure they had candy for all the holidays. He retired from the bus in 2007. Also during this time, he worked on and received his college degree in May of 1994 and was very proud of that.

In 1979 he joined the Post Falls Fire Department, where he attained the rank of Captain. He was very involved in teaching extrication. He became very involved with the volunteer ambulance service and became the president and manager. He worked very hard and the service became top-notch.

Blaise loved the woods and hunting. He set up a hunting camp for more than 25 years when his son took over. He made sure he got there every year -- no matter what. He had so many friends and all he talked about was his friends and hunting. Camping was his other great joy and he spent as much time as possible in the woods. His kids started camping at a very early age and all have the love of the woods.

Blaise met his wife of 54 years when her dad brought him home on his birthday, since he was a lonely, single guy. Five months later they were married. She was well suited for Navy life, as she was a Navy-brat. They spent years together raising kids, camping and having adventures of all kinds.

Blaise is survived by his three children: Kimberlee Hanley, Melissa Bullock (Michael), and Blaise R. Koep (Pam), all of Post Falls; grandchildren, Trevor, Ashlee, Quinn, Jasmine, Devon Marie, Kendall, Katie, Jake and Caitlin; great-grandchildren, Isaias, TJ, Cole, Waylon, Olivia, Harper, Liberty, Parker and the latest, Owen; brothers, Roch and Court; sisters, Suzanne, Debbie, Ruth, Phoebe and Amy. Brother, Lance, and sister, Mary Constance, preceded him in death.