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Raymond F. Blackburn
August 15, 1934 ~ October 6, 2023 (age 89) 89 Years Old
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Raymond F. Blackburn, age 89, quietly crossed over on October 6, 2023, at St. Claire Hospital in Baraboo surrounded by his loving family.
Ray was born on August 15,1934. He was the son of Charles and Vera (Bennett) Blackburn. He graduated from New Lisbon High School in 1952. Ray was united in marriage to the love of his life Betty (Betts) Olson on October 13, 1956, at the United Methodist Church in Necedah. They had enjoyed 65 years of married bliss before her passing in August of 2022.
Ray grew up on the family farm in the Town of Clearfield and worked as a welder at Walker Stainless. After they married, Ray and Betts assumed ownership of the family farm and devotedly operated it for over 20 years. After selling the farm they moved to Mauston, where Betts owned Blackburn’s House of Cards and Ray began working for Energy Research and Development in Tomah. Upon selling the House of Cards, they moved to Tomah. Ray continued welding as a freelancer, building cow-lifts which he helped to engineer. He also worked extensively with Tom Every (Dr. Evermor) on his grandest metal sculptures, including the Telescope for the Forevertron Sculpture Park outside of Baraboo. He then worked as a manager-foreman for many years at USEMCO in Tomah until his retirement in 2010.
Ray and Betts enjoyed traveling together, including winters in South Carolina with daughter Kimberly and her husband John. They kept a lifelong promise to one another to travel to England and Norway and from Canada to Mexico. They also took fun and adventurous road trips with each of their grandchildren upon them turning nine.
Ray was the ultimate storyteller, whether it was spoken, written, or recorded. He loved telling stories to anyone and everyone about family, friends, life experiences and fanciful tales he dreamed up on his own. Most profoundly, Ray was a uniquely special man who was loving, kind and compassionate toward everyone he met.
Ray is survived by his children Faye (Don) Hubele, Ray (Debbie) Blackburn, Kimberly (John) Tonjes, Clint (Kari) Blackburn; grandchildren Michelle (Ben) Hinojosa, Jazmyn DeBerge, Brad (Hannah) Hubele, Levon Blackburn; great-grandchildren Cameron (Danielle) St Mary, Colton (Brittany) St Mary, Vincent DeBerge, Izzy DeBerge, Jaxon Hinojosa, Dominic Hubele, Rexton Hubele; great-great grandchildren Lila and Layton St Mary and Turner and Hallie St Mary.
He is preceded in death by his parents Charles and Vera Blackburn; son-in-law John Tonjes; father-in-law and mother-in-law Clifford and Helen Olson; Sister and brother-in-law Inez and Don Holy; nephew Charles Holy and his favorite Uncle Don Blackburn.
The family has chosen to have a private family gathering to celebrate his memories.
The family would like to extend their sincere gratitude to all the caregivers and staff at Oak Park Place Assisted Living in Baraboo, as well the staff at St Claire Meadows. We appreciate all the love and care they have given to our both our Dad and Mom. The family would also like to thank Agrace Hospice Care, especially Jayme, Rae, and Leslie, as their comforting care to Dad and our family was a blessing to all of us. And thank you to Dr. Stuart Hannah, SSM Health for the many years of care. The family is assisted by Hare Funeral Home of New Lisbon.