Raymond F. Ertl, 80
Jan. 30, 1935 -- June 20, 2015
Raymond F. Ertl, 80, of West Bend, found peace on Saturday, June 20, 2015, at The Kathy Hospice after a battle with cancer. He was born in LeRoy on Jan. 30, 1935, during a snowstorm in which the doctor came on horse and sleigh to the house to deliver him. He was the son of the late Philip and Barbara (Eilbes) Ertl.
Ray was united in marriage to Beverly Brunner on Sept. 6, 1958, at Holy Angels Catholic Church in West Bend. Ray worked at many cheese factories and at one time was the youngest licensed cheese maker in Wisconsin. He was employed at the West Bend Co., eventually working as a quality control foreman. After the West Bend Co., Ray took to the woodworking he loved full time. Ray was a quality craftsman working almost exclusively in oak. At one time he cut trees down, brought in a portable sawmill, kiln dried the wood and made his products. Ray was able to create many original designs and could custom make almost anything. He was called upon often to use his woodworking skills to help others. Ray and Bev would attend craft shows at State Fair Park and the Washington County Fairgrounds to display and sell his work. All of his children have wonderful examples of his handiwork in their homes to cherish. It was said Grandpa could fix anything. Ray also worked part time for the town of Barton.
Ray and Beverly enjoyed playing cards, dancing, fishing and spending time with their grandchildren. Ray and Bev spent many days fishing on Lake Michigan under the handle of “Eager Beaver.” At one time he was a member of the Ozaukee chapter of the Great Lakes Sport Fishermen. He was known for making excellent smoked fish.
With his wife, Ray loved spending time at their seasonal home on the property of their daughter, Susan, and her husband, Jose, in Sandia, Texas. They were known as “Winter Texans.”
Ray enjoyed attending polka Mass, and his favorite polka band was the Good Time Dutchmen. Ray served his country as a member of the National Guard. He was a former member of the Moose, the Senior Hartford Friends and the Red Arrow Club. He was also a member of St. Mary’s Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Barton.
Those Ray leaves behind to cherish his memory include his loving wife of 56 years, Beverly, and four children, Susan (Jose) Valadez of Sandia, Texas, Mark of Muskego, Michael of West Bend, and Sharon (Michael) Mouradian of West Bend. He is loved by his six grandchildren, Nicole (Jeremy Parker) of Canyon, Texas, Matthew, Ryan, Noah, Makayla and Chad of West Bend. Also considered a grandchild, George Jackson of Muskego will miss kidding with Grandpa. He has two great-grandchildren, Dakota Rae and Adelyn Belle of Canyon, Texas. Ray is survived by several brothers and sisters, Wilbert Ertl (Marcella) of West Bend, Charlie Ertl (Elaine) of West Bend, Tom Ertl of Campbellsport, Barbara (Bob) Umbaugh of Caldwell, Idaho, David (Gabriella) of Fond du Lac, Mary Pat (Bill) Kissinger of West Bend, and Joe (Barbara) of Goodyear, Arizona. He also is survived by his sister-in-law, Rita Ertl of Sheboygan.
Ray is preceded in death by brothers, Alois and Andy, and his sister-in-law, Linda.
A celebration of thanksgiving to God for Ray’s life will be held on Wednesday, June 24, with visitation from 2-5 p.m. and Mass at 5 p.m. at St. Mary’s Church in West Bend with the Rev. Nathan Reesman presiding. Following the mass, Military Honor Rights will be held.
The Ertl family would like to thank the entire staff of The Kathy Hospice for their tender, loving care of Ray and the family. Memorials can be sent to The Kathy Hospice, West Bend, in Ray’s name.
The Phillip Funeral Home is assisting the family. Online condolences may be expressed at www.phillipfuneralhome.com.