Raymond 'Codge' Sime Jr.
VIOLA -- Raymond "Codge" Sime Jr., 94, a life-long resident of Viola passed away peacefully Sunday, March 14, 2021, at Vernon Memorial Hospital with family by his side.
Ray was born Feb. 27, 1927, to Raymond Sime Sr. and Harriet Anderson Sime. He attended Viola schools and in 1945, he graduated early to enlist in the Navy. After serving in the Pacific during World War II, he returned to Viola and worked in his parents' locker plant.
He married Doris Jacobson Aug. 21, 1951, at Our Saviors Lutheran Church in Westby. They had two daughters, Lynn and Heidi. He graduated from Vernon County Teacher's College and La Crosse State, teaching at Smith School, in rural Westby, and later at Viola Jr. High, until his retirement in 1987.
Ray enjoyed frequent outdoor excursions with Doris, his children and grandchildren. He loved watching birds and wildlife, trapping, gardening, hiking, hunting arrowheads, searching for morels, fishing and snake hunting, especially in the bluffs by the Mississippi. He had a vast knowledge of nature, especially of plants and trees. He was a wonderful grandfather and shared his love and respect of nature and his knowledge with Ben, Lauren and Nick.
During the summers he grew ginseng. In retirement years he raised sheep and went on many pigeon show trips with Jim Schneider. He served 50+ years on the Viola Fire Department and also served a number of years on the election board.
Ray wanted it said of him that he always voted Republican, and wasn't a particular fan of the Packers. Others wanted it said of him that he had a tendency to over-complicate the simplest task in a charming way, was an engaging and talkative man, and had a history lesson tucked into every conversation.
He is survived by daughters, Lynn (Wayne) Zeller and Heidi (Todd Hunter); grandchildren, Ben (Nina) Martin, Lauren Martin (Adam Peters) and Nick Martin; and great-grandsons, Jacob Andrew Martin and James Alexander Martin. Also survived by his sister, Mary Ann Gochenaur and her children, David and Nancy and their families; cousin, Gary Sime; Doris' family, friends and good neighbors; his Fire Department "family" and his cat, Scut.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Doris; brothers-in-law, Bill Gochenaur, Garold Jacobson, Harlan Jacobson; and his canine friend, Rowan.
A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 20, at the Village of Viola Community Center. Visitation will be held from 1 p.m. until the time of the service. Burial will be in the Viola Cemetery immediately following the service. For the safety of everyone attending, masks are required. Online condolences may be expressed at www.vossfh.com.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Viola Fire Department or the Kickapoo High School Track Shed Fund.
The family would like to thank longtime neighbors, Gary and Sherry Erlandson, Michelle Heitmann and family, and Hugh Oliver, for their help and friendship that allowed Ray to continue to stay in his home.
Additional thanks to Dr. Duane Koons, Dr. Elizabeth Roberts and Dr. Paul Bergquist, for their exceptional medical care and compassion, along with the nurses that were so gentle and attentive to Ray at the end of his life.