Raymond Karlen (1920 - 2012)

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Karlen, Raymond A.

Raymond A. Karlen, 92, Edgar died Sunday, December 30, 2012 at St. Joseph's Hospital, Marshfield.

He was born March 12, 1920 in the town of Cassel, son of the late John and Margaret (Imhoff) Karlen. On September 1, 1945 he married Elizabeth Wilichowski at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, town of Cassel. She survives.

Ray was a third generation farmer, following his father John and his grandfather Johann, who came over from Switzerland to settle in Wisconsin. Growing up on a farm gave Ray a love of being outside his whole life. While still farming, Ray enjoyed driving the family to Sunday picnics at Rib Mountain or Rudolph. After he retired from farming, Ray was able to do more traveling. He and Betty bought a Starcraft camper and traveled throughout Wisconsin. Favorite camping spots were Lake Superior—Memorial Park in Washburn and the Apostle Islands-- and The Outpost in Tomahawk. He also took great pleasure in making trips to the East Coast, especially Maine and Boston, and to Alaska, where he could spend time with family and explore new territory.

In his later years, Ray could be seen sitting outside his house in the sun, perhaps traveling in his mind where his body could no longer take him. He also loved music, and up until his last days, enjoyed listening to polkas and the sound of a concertina.

Some of Ray's favorite pastimes included woodworking and fixing almost anything but most dear to his heart was his family. He loved to spend time with his grandchildren and always looked forward to birthday parties and holidays events to share time with all his family.

Survivors include his wife, Elizabeth Karlen, Edgar, his six children, Duane (Janet Ott) Karlen, Reston, Virginia, Janice Karlen, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Dennis Karlen, Marshfield, Suzanne (Ronald) Blair, Jefferson, Robert (Karen) Karlen, Fairbanks, Alaska and Linda (Ed) Karlen Elliott, Elmhurst, Illinois, nine grandchildren, Julian Karlen, Kristin Solander, Kristie (Matt) Skluzacek, Hava and Tirzah Blair, Robyn (Clayton) McCurdy, Hannah (Phil) McFadden and Ian and Corey Elliott, six great grandchildren, Elizabeth and Alexander Skluzacek and Yelisa, Emily, Kyleigh and Kayla McCurdy and one sister, Margaret Wilichowski, Wausau.

Ray was preceded in death by four brothers, Richard, Leo, Norman and John Karlen Jr. and three sisters, Gertrude Lang, Dorothy Baumann and Elizabeth Lang.

The funeral mass will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. Friday, January 11, 2013 at St. John Catholic Church, Edgar. The Rev. Robert Streveler will preside. Burial will be in the parish cemetery. Friends may call on Friday from 9:00 a.m. until the time of services all at the church. In lieu of flowers a memorial fund has been established in Raymond's name.

Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, Edgar is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com

Published in the Wausau Daily Herald from Jan. 6 to Jan. 9, 2013
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