Raymond B. "Ray" Wenker, age 92 of Melrose, passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family on Saturday, November 17, 2018 at his home in Melrose, Minnesota.
A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:30 a.m. Friday, November 23 at St. Andrew's Catholic Church in Greenwald with Rev. Marvin Enneking officiating. Inurnment will be in St. Mary's Cemetery in Melrose.
Visitation will be 9 to 11:30 a.m. Friday at the church.
Raymond Bernard Wenker was born to Ben and Rose (Kortenbusch) Wenker on May 4, 1926 in Grove Township, Stearns County, Minnesota. On August 20, 1951 he married Lorraine Klasen at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in St. Rosa. Ray and Lorraine farmed near Westport in Ashley Township for 56 years. They were members of the Church of St. Anthony of Padua and Ray was a member of the Knights of Columbus during his time in the parish.
Ray was a dedicated, thoughtful, supportive, and loving father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He was an exceptional mechanic, welder, and builder with incredible attention to perfection and creativity. He had a life-long love of farming that he said was "in my blood." He spent his life farming, working the land and raising livestock, mainly hogs and beef cattle. He loved all animals, especially horses which he grew up utilizing in farm work. After selling their farm, Ray and Lorraine moved to Melrose and became members of St. Mary's Catholic Church.
Ray enjoyed listening to and singing along with classic country music. He had a strong voice and was blessed with a memorable gift of storytelling. His way of telling jokes and his comedic timing along with his laughter will live on in the memory of all who heard them. Ray enjoyed restoring cars, trucks, and tractors from the 1930's and 1940's to their original condition. Ray will be missed by those that he touched throughout his life.
Survivors include his children, Wayne Wenker of Eden Prairie, Judy (Jon) Jakubov of Maize, Kansas, Rose (David) Merten of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, Myrina (Don) Kleinschmidt of Orono, and Ted (Liliana Hidalgo) Wenker of Atlanta, Georgia; ten grandchildren, Ryan, Mathew, Angela, Jordan, Benjamin, Jacob, Samuel, Isaac, Michaela, and Sarah; five great-grandchildren, Ava, Ryder, Ethan, Austin, and Elijah; brothers and sisters, Clarence (Mary Ann) Wenker of Melrose, Edna Worms of Melrose, Florentine Hammer of Richmond, Adeline (Stan) Schaefer of Burnsville, and Larry (Radi) Wenker of Melrose.
Ray was preceded in death by his wife, Lorraine Wenker; three infant children; parents; brothers, Herbert, Edmund, and Adolph; and sisters, Marie and Sylvia.
November 23, 2018
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
November 23, 2018