In Memory of Raymond W. Klopotek
Raymond Walter Klopotek was born on September 23, 1944 to Walter and Vera (Kluge) Klopotek in Cumberland, Wisconsin. Ray attended school in Cumberland where he graduated in 1963.
Ray attended Stout State University in Menomonie, WI, then transferred to WITC in La Crosse, WI to become a linotype operator. Upon completing his studies in La Crosse, Ray returned to Cumberland and was the Linotype setter for the Cumberland Advocate, where he had worked during his high school years as an apprentice.
Ray married Shirley Heldstab in April of 1970. He then began working at the New Richmond News. Soon after he was offered the job as commercial printing foreman at the Amery Free Press in Amery. Ray continued to work at the Amery Free Press until the opportunity arose to buy out the commercial printing operation, which he did. That was the beginning of Ray K Printing in Amery, WI.
Ray joined the Amery Jaycees the first year he was in Amery. He was very active in the organization and served in almost every office. Ray loved serving his community by volunteering for various service projects. One of his favorite chairmanships was as the Amery Funsters chair. The Funsters attended many parades in the area, and also in MN. Many of the parades involved a weekend campout with the clowning group. Ray and Shirley made many friends through their Jaycee years, and count them as friends to this day!
Ray has served Redeemer Lutheran Church in many capacities over the years. His last job was that of volunteer bookkeeper, which he did for many years. Even when he was snow birding in Arizona, he managed to keep the books and pay the bills from his office at Palm Creek RV Resort in Casa Grande, AZ. Ray joined Redeemer Lutheran Church in 1970 and has been a lifelong member.
Ray accepted many leadership roles in the Amery community throughout the years. In addition to Jaycees, he served as the President of both the Amery Community Club and the Amery Lions.
Ray enjoyed many sports including golf, hunting, bowling, and water skiing in his younger years! A lot of time was spent on Pike Lake on the pontoon either just enjoying nature, or checking on the loons. Camping was a favorite summer weekend activity, and Door Co., WI was the prime vacation spot for over 30 years. Peninsula State Park holds amazing memories of salmon fishing and campfires. Ray found a love for creating stained glass projects and wood bowls during the winter at his retirement home in Casa Grande, AZ.
Ray is survived by his wife Shirley, daughter Nena (Dave)Thomas, and son Mike, sister Lonna (Jim) Schmidt, 4 grandchildren: Talmage (Emily) and Ethan (Lara) Kegley and Nicole and Michayla Klopotek, 4 great grandchildren: Eli, Lex, Alice and Fred Kegley. Also surviving are his sister-in laws Beverly Overbey-Bean, and Debbie (Ren) Schieffer, brother-in-law Jim (Sue) Heldstab, several nieces and nephews and very special cousins.
Ray was a quiet man with deep feelings, a gentle man who loved fiercely, a man who committed himself to God, his Church, his family, and his community. He took all of his commitments seriously. Ray had great strength and courage. He had a plan and pushed himself to be sure that when he met his Heavenly Father his wife, the love of his life, would not have any more worries.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorials be made to Redeemer Lutheran Church or the charity of your choice.
Visitation will take place at the Williamson-White Funeral Home in Amery, WI on Friday, August 26, 2022 from 4-7pm and 1 hour prior to services at the church on Saturday. Ray’s celebration of life will be held at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Amery at 11:00am on Saturday, August 27, 2022.