Former Iowa Gov. Bob Ray's casket to lie in state Thursday; funeral scheduled for Friday

Brianne Pfannenstiel
The Des Moines Register

Iowans can pay their final respects to former Iowa Gov. Robert Dolph Ray at public services this week. 

Iowa national guardsmen, Iowa State Troopers and Des Moines police officers will escort Ray's casket to the Iowa State Capitol for the final time Thursday afternoon, where his body will lie in state through the evening.

Iowans are encouraged to arrive at the Capitol by 4 p.m. in order to move through security. A short ceremony will occur at 5 p.m., and visitors can pass by the casket between 5:30 and 8:30 p.m.  

A funeral service will begin at 1 p.m. Friday at the First Christian Church, 2500 University Ave. in Des Moines. The service also will be streamed online. 

Memorials may be sent to The Robert D. and Billie Ray Center at Drake University or online at A memorial guestbook is also online at the Ray Center's website

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Ray, a popular Iowa governor who served five consecutive terms from 1969-83, died Sunday morning. He was 89 and had been in declining health related to Parkinson's disease.

Ray, a Republican, drew accolades from across the political spectrum as news of his death spread across the state.

Gov. Kim Reynolds praised him as a "tremendous statesman." And former Democratic Gov. Tom Vilsack said Ray "set the highest standard for and in public service."