Ernest W. Ray Jr.

May 23, 1940 ~ December 20, 2019 (age 79)


Ernest W. Ray Jr., age 79 of Litchfield, MN died on Friday December 20, 2019 at the Paynesville Hospital.  A funeral service will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, December 28, 2019 at the St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church in Litchfield, MN.  Visitation will be held from 5:00 - 8:00 PM on Friday at Johnson-Hagglund Funeral and Cremation in Litchfield, MN and will continue one hour prior to the service at church.  Interment will be held at Ripley Cemetery, Litchfield, MN.


Ernest William Ray, Jr, the son of Ernest and Rosella (Stenger) Ray was born in Watkins, MN on May 23, 1940.  He was baptized at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Watkins in 1940 and confirmed at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Watkins in 1954.  He graduated from Kimball High School in 1958.  Ernie was united in marriage to Alva D. Retzlaff  on August 14, 1965 at St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church in Litchfield, MN.  He grew up south of Watkins and moved into the city of Litchfield until buying a hobby farm south of Litchfield in 1978 where he raised his family and lived the rest of his life.  As a young man he worked as a farmhand and at Litchfield Produce.  He then learned to weld and worked road construction jobs, including Interstate 94, Anderson Crane, Johnson Brothers and Palm Industries.  He worked at Hutchinson Manufacturing for 13 years, then Towmaster in Litchfield and New Flyer in  St. Augusta.  He retired in 2002 following an injury at work.  He was a member of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church.  He enjoyed hunting, fishing, gardening, caring for pets and hobby farming.  He collected coins and brass figurines and attended many horse and tack sales.  He also enjoyed threshing shows, auctions, playing cards with friends and family, driving tractor at the Nelson Farm, taking Alva to “therapy” at the casino, and watching wrestling, Family Feud, The Price is Right, Hee Haw and Wheel of Fortune.  He was always willing to help family and friends when needed.


Ernie is survived by his wife Alva of Litchfield; children Kyle (Amber) Ray of Litchfield,  and Rosalyn (Erick) Kotila of Cokato; granddaughter Hannah; sisters Jane (Dick) Fisher of Watkins and Judy (Myron) Kuechle of Watkins; and many nephews, nieces, family and friends.


He was preceded in death by his parents Ernest and Rosella; and sisters Betty Scholtes and Joan Loch.


Blessed be his memory.

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December 27, 2019

5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Johnson - Hagglund Funeral (Litchfield)

Funeral Service
December 28, 2019

11:00 AM
St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church
227 Ramsey Avenue
Litchfield, MN 55355

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