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Raymond W. Gusa, 92 Print E-mail
Written by TRF Times   
  Middle River - Raymond William Gusa died on Thanksgiving Day morning, November 25, 2004, at the age  of 92. 
  Funeral services were held on Monday, November 29, at First Lutheran Church in Middle River, with Pastor  Curt Matz officiating.Casket bearers include Raymond’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Interment was held at First Lutheran Cemetery in Middle River.
 Raymond William Gusa, the son of the late George and Martha (Wartenberg) Gusa, was born on April 12, 1912, in Seattle, Wash. At the age of 2, he moved with his family to a farm in Spruce Valley Township of Marshall County, near Middle River and Holt, where he attended school and grew to manhood.  Ray was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith. 
 On December 5, 1943, he was united in marriage to Marion Backlund at the Nazareth Lutheran Church in Holt. Following their marriage, the couple lived and farmed in Spruce Valley Township. Ray was a long-time member of First Lutheran Church of Middle River, serving on the church council, singing in the choir, and served as a Synod delegate. He served on the Middle River Co-op Oil Board for several years and as clerk of the Spruce Valley Town Board. In 1977, he retired from farming which gave him time to enjoy his garden, riding his bike, traveling and fishing. 
 He was a member of the Holt Keenagers and the Middle River Senior Citizens Group. In 1988, he was selected as Marshall County “Outstanding Senior Citizen” and in 2002, was a State of Minnesota “Ageless Hero.” Ray enjoyed woodcrafts, rug making, and knitting. Ray never worked on a Sunday. Marion passed away November 2, 2000, and since January of 2001, Ray had resided at the Valley Home in Thief River Falls.
 He is survived by one son, William (Diane) of Mount Vernon, Wash.;  five daughters: Joan (Verdell) Anderson, of Park Rapids, Sharon (Wayne) Smith of Warroad, Catherine Burkholder of Hendersonville, N.C., Carolyn (Terry) Miller of Barron Wis. and Martha (Stephen) Jonland of Proctor;  16 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren;  one brother, James of Elk River; in addition to several nieces, nephews, and other relatives.
   Ray was preceded in death by his wife, his parents, one brother: Ted, and two sisters: Edna and Linda.   A00003B2004DC01
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