At the dawn of a new day, heaven opened its door to our beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend, Raymond H. Reese. Ray, as he liked to be called was born to John H. and Dena Reese, on September 11, 1921 at their home in Harvard, Ill.
He was baptized at the Lutheran Church in Harvard and was presently a member of the Spring Lake Lutheran Church.
Ray died peacefully at his home with his family by his side on September 25, 2012 at the age of 91.
Dairy farming was part of his life as he grew up. After leaving home he continued working on farms. As time went on he met Arlene and they were married on May 5, 1945 they farmed in Chemung, Wis., and later bought a 42 head dairy farm in Woodstock, Ill. He farmed and lived there until they and their 4 children Judy, Joyce, Ronald and Karen moved to Minnesota in 1955.
Again he did dairy farming until he started driving school bus for the North Branch School District. He drove bus for 20 years, and yes, you better behave on that bus.
As time went on Ray did asphalt, cement and carpentry work. He and his son-in-law teamed up and formed the Ray-Mar Construction Business – building home and garages.
The best years of his life was working as a custodian at the North Branch Elementary School. He kept that school squeaky clean and spotless for 15 years – retiring in 1985.
But, retirement wasn’t to be yet. He was happy to start work at General Safety where again he took much pride in keeping the shop spotless. General Safety later moved to Wyoming and Ray went with them.
Fishing was another enjoyment. He enjoyed it even if the fish didn’t bite. He, like his family, enjoyed the outdoors. Every place he lived his yard was meticulous. Right up to the day dad, Ray, couldn’t do it himself, his sons-in-law help to keep his present yard looking meticulous. His yard was his pride and joy.
Ray will be remembered for the firm hand shake, his gentle smile and the special feeling he had when one said, “Thank You,” for a job well done. His family was so important to hm. He will be missed by many.
Ray will be deeply missed by his wife, Arlene of 67 years. Children Judy and (Bill) Feela of North Branch, Joyce and (Duane) Rust of Kelliher, Minn., Ronald and (Karen) Reese of Little Falls, Minn., Karen (Pete) Rask of Isanti; 5 grandchildren Tanya Danielzuk, Jason (Rachel) Rouvel, Tracy (Kris) Carlson; Mindy (Jens) Jacobson and Bradley (Krissy) Reese; 7 great grandchildren Corrina and Greta Rouvel, Chase and Sierra Carlson, Alex Reese, Chance Jacobson and Kaytlyn Danielzuk; close friends Lando and Lucille Kutzke and David and Earlane Johnson; brothers Paul Reese and Roney of Harris, Seymore Reese and Ann of Harvard, Illinois; Sisters Alice Brennecka, Grace Lehman, Gladys Grashel, Gertrude (Billy) Walter all of Harvard, Ill., Dorothy Sternberg of Delavan, Wis. and Nancy Firn; and many nieces, nephews and friends. He was preceded in death by parents and 4 brothers and sisters.
Services were Saturday, September 29, 2012 at the Carlson-Lillemoen Funeral Home with Pastor Ron Hackmann officiating. Special music was provided by John Lundeen accompanied by Judy Lundeen. Pallbearers were Paul Reese, David Johnson, Jason Rouvel, Duane Rust, Peter Rask, Bill Feela and Honorary pallbearer was Lando Kutzke. Interment was in the Spring Lake Lutheran Cemetery. Arrangements were with the Carlson-Lillemoen Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Cambridge.