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Ray Thole

Ray Thole Jan. 28, 1929 - Aug. 18, 2013

BIRD ISLAND - Ray Thole, age 84, of Bird Island died Sunday, August 18, 2013 in Anchorage, AK just as he was returning home from a fishing trip. Mass of Christian Burial is 1:00 P.M. Saturday, August 24th at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Bird Island with Rev. George Schmit as celebrant. Military rites will be provided by the Bird Island American Legion. Visitation is Friday 4-8 p.m. at Dirks-Blem Funeral Home in Bird Island with a prayer service at 7:00 p.m. Visitation continues Saturday at the funeral home from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Memorials are preferred in lieu of flowers.

Raymond Henry Thole was born January 28, 1929 at St. Augusta, MN, to George and Sophia (Kiffmeyer) Thole. He attended country school and St. Cloud Tech High School. Ray served his country during the Korean War from 1952-1954 with a special category of the U.S. Army which was attached to the Air Force. After his discharge he settled in Bird Island. Ray met Charlene Welsh and they married June 4, 1957 at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Bird Island. They have resided at rural Bird Island ever since and were blessed with six children. In 1956 Ray established the Olivia Machine Shop and while his son is now the owner-operator Ray continued to go to the shop several times a week. Ray was a faithful member of St. Mary's Catholic Church, Knights Of Columbus, American Legion, Pheasants Forever, and Renville Ranger Shooting Club. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping, traveling, gardening, attending grandchildren's sporting events....and hunting and fishing, and hunting and fishing...and working and working and working some more!! Ray's family fondly remembers how he could fix anything and everything.

Ray is survived by his wife, Charlene Thole of Bird Island, his six children and their spouses: Jeff and Mary Ann Thole of Olivia, Denise and Darwin Brown of Maple Grove, Michelle and Mark Flynn of Ham Lake, Renee and Mike Conner of Hutchinson, Brenda and Dave Muench of Bird Island, and Nicole and Kevin Vosika of Olivia; his grandchildren: Adam (and Becky) Thole, Luke (and Heidi) Thole, Sean (and Sara) Brown, Craig (and Meghan) Brown, Andrea (and Derek) Maher, Jakin Flynn, Shelby (and Brandon) Hopp, Lia (and Adam) Olson, Kyle Conner, Tony Muench (and special friend Bri), Laura Jo (and Isaac) Rodriguez, Dawson Vosika, Gavin Vosika, and Hudson Vosika; and his great-grandchildren: Harper, Paxton, and Maddox Thole, Ethan, Aiden, and Owen Brown, and Aria Olson. Ray was preceded in death by his parents, his two brothers: Julius "Jack" Thole and George Thole, and his two sisters: Florence Tschacher and Marion Crutcher.

Dirks-Blem Funeral Service, Bird Island, MN

(320) 523-1102