Ramon Paul Mechtel, passed away Friday, January 24, 2014 at Gunderson Lutheran Medical Center, La Crosse, WI. Ray was surrounded by love and family as he passed away, following a short bout with lung cancer.
Ray was born January 17th, 1935 in Caledonia to LeRoy and Norma (Holter) Mechtel. He was married to Patricia Ann McKenna, November 25th, 1957 at St. Peters Catholic Church, Caledonia. They were later divorced.
Upon graduating Caledonia High School, Ray proudly served in the United States Navy during the Korean Conflict.
Ray was a skilled and proficient Machinist and Tool & Die Maker. From Caledonia Ray moved to Chicago to work for Zenith Electronics. Eschewing the large city for the stability of the Midwest, Ray then moved his burgeoning family to Toledo and later Traer as he worked for a number of years for John Deere, in Waterloo, Iowa. He then moved to Wichita, Kansas where he worked for Boeing Aviation. Upon retiring from Boeing, Ray moved back to his hometown of Caledonia.
Ray was survived by six daughters and one son: Rose (Jeff) Jergenson, Theresa (Rick) Wentland, Lyla (Brian) Whannel, Kelly Mechtel-Young, Tracy Mechtel, Debra Mechtel and Ramon (Cindy) Mechtel. Ray was also survived by twelve Grandchildren: Michael Bush, Justen & Christine Fowler, Paul, Nicholas & Matthew Whannel, Emma & Zane Conley-Mechtel, Christopher & Sarah Mechtel and Zach Mechtel. Ray also left behind four Great Grandchildren Zoe & Aviry Bush, Abagail Tran and Kimber Ray Mechtel.
Ray is survived by brothers Allen Mechtel of Caledonia, Bob (Peggy) Mechtel, Florida, sister Judy (Don) Klug of Lewiston, MN, and by sister-in-law, Pam Mechtel of Caledonia.
Ray is also survived by lifelong best friend Jerry (Liz) Nelsen and honorary Granddaughter Heidi Berge, all of Caledonia.
Ray was preceded in death by his parents, LeRoy and Norma Mechtel, his brother, Don Mechtel, and granddaughter, Vanessa Bush
Ray lived life on his own terms and had a wonderful time doing so. He loved the Dallas Cowboys, Budweiser, driving a good car, crosswords & word puzzles, Suduku, movies and friends. He had a quick and delightfully dry wit. He was a warm and generous friend and father. He would do anything for friend or stranger. He was brave, strong and lionhearted, fierce, loyal and never wanted to let anyone down. If you were his friend, it was for life.
Ray was famous for his "inventions". Just the mention of those could cause delight and laughter to those who knew him.
No service or visitation will be held at this time. There will be a memorial gathering later this spring. Please raise a cold one and toast a humble giant of a man. Ray, this Bud's for you.