Cover photo for Raymond "Ray" Louis Waddell's Obituary
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1940 Raymond "Ray" 2022

Raymond "Ray" Louis Waddell

January 4, 1940 — May 30, 2022

Raymond (Ray) Louis Waddell of Park Rapids, MN passed away at home on May 30, 2022. Ray was born on January 4, 1940, in Mott, ND to Edwin and Marguerite Waddell. He was one of twelve children and a twin to Ronald. He joined the army in 1958 and was a medic stationed in Germany. He loved to share stories of his service time and travels. He returned home in 1960 to work for various farmers in Mott. In Fall of 1961, he moved to Minneapolis and worked for the MN Highway Department and Hitchcock Industries. Ray met the love of his life, Claudia Mary Woodruff on January 21, 1961, on a blind date. They married on July 11, 1964. In the Fall of 1969, he pursued his dream of farming and purchased a farm in Royalton, where they built their life and raised their three children. Ray loved farming. He loved his animals and the circle of life, the time he spent in the fields, planting and watching a new crop emerge each year. He loved gathering around the dinner table at the end of the day with his family. Family was most important. There was always a pot of coffee on for family, friends and neighbors who might stop by. He was a mentor, a builder, a mender, a caregiver to his animals, a keeper of the land and the heart and soul of his farm. He retired in 2002. Ray and Claudia moved and settled in Lake Country in 2008. Ray didn’t have many dislikes. Amongst his favorite things were tractors, collecting coins and agates, storytelling, reading, history, Johnny Cash, western movies, football (mostly Tom Brady), sunflowers, irises, daisies, ice cream, Snickers and peanuts. Above all was his time spent with his family. He was stubborn, steadfast, loyal, wise and funny and will be missed by so many. Ray is survived by his wife, Claudia of nearly 58 years, children Doug Waddell (Fujiko), Patty Gaetz (David), Kathy Swan (Steve), grandchildren Tommy Weisbrich (Marissa), Stephen Swan (Alison) and Jenna Swan, great grandchildren Leo Swan and Brooklyn Weisbrich, four brothers and four sisters and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Leroy, Nick and Clyde Waddell, sister-in-law Beverly Waddell and brother-in-law Mike Krug, nephews Bruce, Eric, Ken and Steve Waddell, nieces Ann and Barb Waddell. Visitation will be held Friday, June 3 at 10-11am at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Royalton, with a Memorial Service immediately following. In lieu of flowers, donations are preferred to the Morrison County Food Shelf.
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