Raymond Anthony Hernandez, 52, of Billings, passed away on Dec. 22, 2020, at home with his wife, Michelle Porter-Hernandez, by his side. Raymond entered into eternal rest after a difficult 14-month battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease).
Raymond moved from New Mexico to Montana in 1999 to continue pursuing a very successful mining career — most recently serving as Lead Surveyor at the Stillwater Mine. This role culminated his 20 years of service with Sibanye-Stillwater Mining Company before his medical retirement in early 2020. Raymond was widely respected and beloved by all his mining colleagues both above and below ground. Raymond met Michelle while commuting to work at Stillwater’s East Boulder Mine south of Big Timber. They fell in love and were later married at her family’s Main Boulder river valley cabin in June 2009.
Raymond will be forever remembered for his kind and generous spirit, eagerness to help others, contagious laughter, radiant smile and larger-than-life hugs. A man of strong Christian faith, Raymond found church everywhere, and he felt especially connected to God’s presence while immersed in the beauty of nature. When he wasn’t working underground, Raymond could be found outdoors hunting and fishing with his best friend Justin Sholley and enjoying endless rounds of golf with his Samoan brothers. He and Michelle delighted in hosting annual summer Boulder River camping trips for large groups of friends and family. Those who knew Raymond well can attest that he was a passionate and loyal Boston Celtics and Pittsburg Steelers fan to the end. At home, he loved working in his backyard and cuddling with his enormous dogs who rarely left his side.
Raymond is survived by his wife, Michelle and her two sons, David and Mitchell Porter; his sons, Lee Rathburn and Michael Hernandez (Jen); parents Manny and Della Hernandez; sister Delma Hernandez (Carlos); brother Chon Hernandez (Rose); and numerous nieces and nephews. Raymond was preceded in death by his son, Julian Hernandez; and his brother, Mario Hernandez.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings, a celebration of life will be held later this spring. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to RiverStone Health and Hospice https://riverstonehealth.org/give or the ALS Foundation http://www.alsfoundation.org/give/.