Raymond Dean Anderson passed away peacefully on Saturday, August 20th, 2022, at the age of 66, after a hard-fought battle with cancer.
Ray was born on December 16, 1955, to Alma and Lorenze Anderson. He grew up in Manawa, Wisconsin, living a full, loving, and family-filled childhood with his two older sisters and twin brother.
Ray attended UW-Stout and matriculated to UW-Milwaukee to graduate with a fine arts degree. It was during his tenure at UW-Stout that he got a “lucky strike”, meeting the love of his life, Barbara, in bowling class. Celebrating 44 years of marriage in early August, Ray was the most sincere, loving, doting husband someone could ask for.
Upon settling in Milwaukee, Ray landed a job at Helwig Carbon in 1979 working as a machinist, using his detailed, steady, and talented hands to excel at the exacting nature this work required. It was from Helwig Carbon that he retired in December 2019 after 40 years of employment; a prime example of his loyalty, steadfast commitment, and work ethic.
In 1984, Ray welcomed his only child and daughter, Molly, to the world. Being a father was his greatest accomplishment and favorite pastime. There could not have been a more devoted, adoring, gentle and proud father.
Ray battled several health issues throughout this lifetime, giving him many trials to walk through, yet he never let his hardships define him. What defined Ray was his gentle, sensitive soul. He is defined by his ability to light up a room with his smile. We will remember his talented, artistic hands, which excelled with a paintbrush, a drumstick or a guitar pick. He had a quiet and calm demeanor which perfected his observant eye and keen listening ear. His childlike excitement and exuberance for living was contagious and demonstrated by his perfected air guitar, how he found joy and excitement in the simplest of things, and how much he was adored by his granddaughter. Ray rarely complained of the many afflictions on his body and just took life as it came, truly appreciating every moment.
To know “Ray-Ray” is to love Ray. Gentle, kind, humble, charming, loving; you couldn’t meet him and not fall in love with him. His loss feels tremendously large here, but he has lovingly been reunited with his parents and twin brother in Heaven. Ray is survived by his loving wife, Barbara; daughter, Molly and her husband Paul; and their two children, Madeline and Miles. He leaves behind his sisters, Carol and Janice; his father-in-law, Perry; and wonderful and supportive brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews, and treasured friends.
A Celebration of Ray’s Life will be held at 11am on October 21, 2022, at St. Gregory the Great Parish located at 3160 S. 63rd St., in Milwaukee.