Raymond (“Ray”) and Mary (“June”) Nidiffer, beloved parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, active members of the community and founders of Brookings-based C&K Market, said a final goodbye to their many friends and family members.
June died March 15, in Medford, after suffering for years from advanced Parkinson’s disease and macular degeneration. She was 80. Ray died on March 20, in Medford of respiratory failure following a heart condition. He was 79.
Together, Ray and June balanced a thriving business with a warm and loving family life and dedicated service to the community. For more than 60 years they were partners in life. Now they are partners in heaven.
Raymond Lloyd Nidiffer was born in Clifton, Colo., on Sept. 6, 1929. Mary June Allen was born in Rifle, Colo., on Dec. 2, 1928.
The couple met when they were juniors in high school. They went to different high schools their senior year, graduated in 1947 and married in 1948.
From 1946 to 1953, Ray worked at the Rifle Packing Plant in Rifle. He owned and operated a uranium mine in Utah from 1953 to 1956. In 1956, the couple moved to Brookings and bought a partnership interest in the grocery company C&K Market Inc. In 1968, Ray became the sole owner of the company, which he built into a successful chain that included Ray’s Food Place, Price Less Foods, Shop Smart and Pharmacy Express.
Ray was the president and CEO of the company until his retirement in 1997. The couple moved to Medford in February, 2002 and Ray retired from C&K’s board of directors in 2003. June served as secretary/ treasurer and office manager of C&K for years. The couple’s son, Doug Nidiffer, now heads the company. Their grandson, Alan, is an officer.
In addition to serving on the Brookings City Council, Ray was active in Elks Lodge 1934, Sydney Croft Masonic Lodge 206 and the Shriners. He started the Ray’s Charitable Foundation, a non-profit organization devoted to children’s charities operating in the communities where C&K Market has stores.
Ray served as president of the Rotary Club of Brookings-Harbor, president of the Brookings-Harbor Chamber of Commerce and president of the board of United Grocers at various times.
June was active in Soroptimist International and the social, cultural and civic enrichment sorority Beta Sigma Phi. She attended the Brookings Presbyterian Church and was a volunteer for numerous community organizations.
Ray was an avid fisherman and hunter. He was a pilot who served as president of the Brookings Flying Club. June delighted in sewing, crocheting, painting and making cards. The couple enjoyed traveling the world together.
Ray and June are survived by their children Douglas Alan of Brookings and Patricia Arlene Fletcher of Moravia, N.Y., as well as their grandchildren Alan William Nidiffer, Sarah Marie Parmenter, Mary Nidiffer Olson, Ethan Raymond Fletcher and Jacob Bryan Fletcher, and six great-grandchildren. Ray is also survived by his sister Arlene Nidiffer Brown. June is survived by her sisters Mildred Stout and Olive Meyers. The couple leaves behind numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
A Celebration of Life will be held for the Nidiffers at 2 p.m., Saturday, March 28, at Brookings-Harbor High School gymnasium, 625 Pioneer Rd., in Brookings. Family, friends, employees and the public are welcome to attend.
Friends of the Nidiffers are welcome to submit written messages to a Web site set up in honor of Ray and June: www.nidiffermemorial.com. Donations to Ray’s Charitable Foundation can be sent to 615 Fifth St., Brookings, OR 97415.