Karlstad - Raymond Westerlund passed away at the Karlstad Memorial Nursing Center in Karlstad on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013 at the age of 80 years, 10 months, 11 days.
Funeral services will be held at First Lutheran Church in Middle River at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 11, with Pastor Rena Peterson presiding. Casket Bearers include Danny Engen, Timmy Nelson, Jay Nelson, Darwin Nelson, Wade Johnson and Roger Bring.
Visitation will be held one hour prior to services at the church. Military honors will be accorded by the Middle River American Legion Post 444 and The Thief River Falls V.F.W. Post 2793.
Raymond Westerlund was born on Oct. 27, 1932 in Red Lake Falls, to Oscar and Ethel (Gilman) Westerlund. He was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith and attended school in Plummer.
He graduated from high school in 1952 and then farmed with Art Christopherson for two years before enlisting in the Army in 1954. Ray served two years in Korea before being discharged in 1956. Following his discharge, Raymond lived in Milwaukee, Wis., for a short period before returning to the Plummer area.
Raymond was united in marriage to Delores Nelson on Aug. 2, 1957 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Thief River Falls, and the two made their home in Plummer.
Raymond and Delores moved to Waukegan, Ill., in 1962 where Raymond worked for Horner Box and later for Johns Mansville for a number of years. Ray and Delores moved to the Middle River community in 1973, where they farmed and raised dairy cattle until they moved off their farm to Middle River in 1983. Ray then worked at the American Legion in Middle River until retiring in 1995 and then worked part-time with area farmers.
Ray moved to the Karlstad Memorial Nursing Center in Karlstad on June 11, 2013.
Raymond was a lifelong member of the Thief River Falls V.F.W. post, a member of the Middle River American Legion Post for 39 years, and a member of First Lutheran Church in Middle River. He enjoyed salmon fishing on Lake Michigan, playing cards, shaking dice, along with many other hobbies.
Raymond is survived by his wife Delores of Middle River; two daughters: Mana (Randy) Lee of Middle River and Lorie Bring of Goodridge; two grandsons: Mike (Helinda) Lee of Mankato, and Shawn (Havie) Lee of Thief River Falls; four granddaughters: Sara (Jason) Lund of Karlstad, Wendy (Joe) Robbinette of Middle River, Heather Phelps of Thief River Falls, and Rachael Bring of Goodridge; 20 great-grandchildren; one brother Roger (Lynn) Westerlund of Cohassett; one sister Darlene Larson of Pequot Lakes, along with many nieces, nephews, and other relatives.
He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers Vernon and Alvin Westerlund.
Arrangements are with Collins Funeral Home of Middle River. An online guest book is available at www.collinsfunerals.com.