Raymond Christian Olesen, 78, passed to the Lord on Sunday, August 28, 2011, after a long illness with Parkinson’s Disease.
Ray attended Knapp Grade School and Park High School, graduating in 1950 before beginning a baking career at his father’s business, O & H Danish Bakery. Ray devoted his life to growing a caring family and building a successful business with Myrna. After working long hours he still found time to do things with his wife and three sons. He was his children’s teacher, mentor and role model all the days of his life. Especially memorable for Ray and his family were the father-son swims at the YMCA, canoe trips with son Dale, fishing trips with the boys, and family vacations to visit friends while exploring our great country that he was proud of.
Ray especially loved fishing and golfing with family and friends. Fishing with the neighbors produced countless tales of adventure and triumph. And golfing with Myrna and their friends was one of his favorite things to do. Ray recorded three holes-in-one; it was his time shared with others that gave him the most joy.
Ray was well-liked and touched the lives of many people throughout his life. As owner of the bakery, Ray taught many people, young and old, the importance of working hard and respecting others. Ray’s patience and love for people was evident to all who knew him.
For many years Ray was an active member of Our Savior's Lutheran Church and more recently Emmaus Lutheran Church. He served on many non-profit civic and community boards throughout his lifetime in Racine. As an active Rotarian for over forty years he was a member of the Downtown Rotary Club and received the special Paul Harris Fellowship honor. Ray was also a Past President and Hall-of-Fame member of the Wisconsin Bakers Association.
As a devoted husband, father and grandfather, Ray loved his family very much. Ray is preceded in death by his oldest son Dale Raymond. He is survived by his loving wife of 59 years, Myrna; his sons and their families, all of Racine, including Dale’s wife, Robin Olesen and their children, Ashley (Nick) DeBaker, great-granddaughter, Isabella, and Nathan Olesen; son, Michael (Mary) Olesen and their children, Carly (Patrick) Brady, Kevin (Angi) Olesen and Mallory (David) Willing; son, Eric (Lisa) Olesen and their children, Alyson (Matthew) Horton and Peter Olesen. He is further survived by two sisters, Janet (Alfred) Thomsen, Patricia Masik; many nieces, nephews, and good friends.
A Memorial Service will be held Thursday, September 1, 2011, at 11 a.m. at Holy Communion Lutheran Church, 2000 W. Sixth St., with Reverend Bill Grimbol and Reverend Mary Janz officiating. Relatives and friends may meet with the family at the funeral home on Wednesday from 4-7 p.m. and at the church Thursday from 10 a.m. until time of service. Memorials to the Downtown Racine Rotary Foundation, Emmaus Lutheran Church or Holy Communion Lutheran Church have been suggested.
A special thank you to Vojtek for the wonderful care and friendship he provided Ray and his family during his final years with us and to Vanja and Peppa for the comfortable and kind care and emotional guidance they provided in their home. Also a special thank you to Wheaton Franciscan Hospice and nurse Lori for their loving and compassionate care.
MARESH-MEREDITH & ACKLAM FUNERAL HOME
803 MAIN ST. RACINE, WI 53403