GWINN, MI. - Raymond J. Stolpe, Sr., age 71, of Gwinn, entered eternal life Tuesday morning, February 25, 2014, in the loving care of his family and Lake Superior Hospice.
Ray was born September 10, 1942 in Marquette, a son of Hugh and Irma (Sjoholm) Stolpe, and was raised in Marquette. He served in the US Army during the Vietnam Era from October 1961 until October 1964. While in service, he met his future wife, Nell, in North Carolina, while walking into a restaurant for a cup of coffee. She waited on him and, on July 6, 1963, the couple was married in Chesterfield, South Carolina. Upon his honorable discharge, Ray and Nell returned to Marquette where he worked at a variety of employments, including the Armour Meat Plant, Cliff Dow, Bunny Bread, and finally with Northern Michigan University where he worked in the power plant as plant engineer and in maintenance. He retired in 1999 following over 38 years of service to NMU. In retirement, Ray and Nell traveled throughout the country, spending their winters in the Martinsville, Virginia area and summers at the family camp, "P and M Hideway" in Gwinn. He loved traveling, always looking for ward to returning to his favorite spot, the family camp. Ray was a people person, fun-loving, and full of life, making friends easily. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, 4 wheeling, gardening, collecting NASCAR, and entering a few of his cars in car shows throughout the years. He was very civic minded and volunteered his time to the Boy Scouts of America for many years, earning the prestigious George Meany Award for his service to scouting. He was a member of the Lions Club, American Legion, AMVETS, Elks, and Moose Lodge where he was honored with the Pilgrim Award. He also gave of his time and talent as MC for many pageants throughout the years at the fair and township events.
Ray is survived by his wife, Nell; daughter, Deborah (Thomas) Stone of Collinsville, VA; son, Randy (Cera) Stolpe of Escanaba; his grandchildren, Hunter Stone, Jordan (Matt) Oldham, Haley Stone, Trevor (Lacy) Mays, Shanndi Bywater, and Nathan Tuffnel; his sister, Bernice (Anthony) Ombrello of Marquette; many nieces and nephews; and very special friend, Barbara Erickson of Marquette.
Raymond J. Stolpe, Sr.
In addition to his parents, Ray was preceded in death by sisters, Joanne Willis, Cathy Snyder, and Shirley Peano and her husband, Norbert Peano; and a brother, Richard Stolpe.
The family will receive relatives and friends at the Fassbender Funeral Home on Friday, February 28, beginning at 11:30 am. The Vietnam Veterans of America will render veteran's honors at 12:45 pm followed by the memorial service at 1:00 pm. Rev. Leon Jarvis will preside. Honorary pallbearers will be Pat Miller, Jim Inch, John Inch, Jim Radtke, Jim McDonald, John Peterson, and Pete LaRue.
Condolences may be expressed online at fassbender funeralhome.com