Raymond J. Pitsch, age 92, of Kimberly, passed away at Cherry Meadows, Appleton, on April 8, 2012. Ray was born on August 31, 1919, in Greenleaf, Wisconsin, to the late John and Hattie (Coenen) Pitsch. On October 4, 1938, he married the former Beatrice Simon at St. Mary Catholic Church in Appleton. His beloved wife of 65 years preceded him in death on December 21, 2003. They resided in Kimberly since 1940. Ray then married Rosemary (Wyngaard, Court) on October 30, 2010.
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Ray was a member of Company B, 127th Infantry of the Wisconsin State Guard until he was drafted. He served in France, Belgium and Germany in the 70th Division in World War II and was in the Battle of the Bulge. He was awarded the Combat Infantry
Badge, the Bronze Star and 5 Battle Stars. Ray was injured and hospitalized for 3½ months at the U.S. General Hospital at Toulouse, France. From the hospital he was assigned to take charge of the Maintenance Dept. of the Adjutant General Printing Division of the Supereme Head Quarters of the American Expeditionary Force under General Eisenhower at Rhiems, France. On April 12, 1945, his daughter Judy passed away. He applied for Emergency Furlough but did not receive it until October 12, 1945. Ray also served at Camp Grant, Illinois, typing morning reports until discharged on February 14, 1946.
Ray was a millwright at Kimberly Clark in Kimberly and also at Kimtech in Neenah with the Field Service and retired from KC in 1981. He was plant manager of Mount Hope Machinery in Appleton and moved the business to Kimberly. Ray also did part-time work as an optical alignment specialist installing machines.
Ray was instrumental in building the Eternal Flame at the Village Complex in Kimberly. He also received a 2004 Care Award for Community Service in Kimberly. Ray served on the Kimberly Planning Commission for 25 years. He was also instrumental in Project Moses by donating the 10 Commandments Monument at Holy Spirit Church in Kimberly. Ray also donated an altar for the Montello Care Center in Montello, Wisconsin.
As a veteran of World War II, in 2010, Ray was honored to participate in the "The Old Glory Honor Flight" to Washington, D.C. to visit the memorials and monuments.
Ray was a life member of the American Legion and a former Color Guard Commander. He directed up to 300 military funerals, dedications and parades. Ray was also a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge, Chef de Gare Passe of 40 et 8, Knights of Columbus 4th Degree, Crozier Society and Kimberly Clark Quarter Century Club.
He enjoyed playing sheepshead and cribbage. Ray also liked to fish and deer hunt. He never missed watching a Packer game and enjoyed the Brewer games as well.
Ray is survived by his wife, Rosemary. He is also survived by his son Ray P. (Betty) Pitsch, Appleton, and his daughter, Dot (Lynn) Moss, Appleton. Ray has three grandchildren, Brenda (Gary) Anderson, Shelley (Scott) Pisarra and Eric Pitsch. There are five great grandchildren, Amber, Jason (Evelyn) and Josh Anderson. Also Audrey and Kelsey Pisarra; his three sisters, Marie (George) Verkuilen, Agnes (Sheridan) Johnson and Martha (Joseph) Decleene; also numerous nieces and nephews.
Ray was preceded in death by his wife, Beatrice; his daughter Judy; his sisters, Ileta (Charles) Swinton and Rita (Robert) Bodde; plus his sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law.
The Funeral Liturgy will be at Noon on Wednesday, April 13, 2012, at HOLY SPIRIT/HOLY NAME CATHOLIC CHURCH, 600 E. Kimberly Avenue, Kimberly with Fr. David Beaudry officiating. Friends may call directly at the church on Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. until the time of services. Interment will be in Holy Name Cemetery, Kimberly. Military honors will be observed at graveside.
Dad, when I was a little girl, I was your shadow--from working on greasy auto parts to pounding nails to chopping the head off a live turkey! You always found something for me to "help" you do. But when it came to advice, you were always solid and strong and I considered you as my "rock." Dad, I am so proud to be a chip off that "rock." Thank you for everything, I will never forget the values you taught me!
Published in Appleton Post-Crescent on Apr. 10, 2012