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Raymond Klenske

raymond klenske
Raymond F. Klenske age 82 of New Hampton died Tuesday morning, August 18, 2009, at the New Hampton Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held 10:30 a.m. Friday, August 21, 2009, at Holy Family Parish-St. Joseph Center, New Hampton with Msgr. Carl Schmitt celebrating the Mass. The pall will be placed by Ray's family. Bob Martin will be the cantor along with Ann Bennett as organist accompanying the Holy Family Resurrection Choir. Suellen Kolbet will the the lector and the offertory gifts will be presented by Ray's grandsons. Interment will be in Calvary Cemetery, New Hampton, with Bob Clites, Harold Rosonke, Larry Throndson, Jim Schwickerath, Tom Schwickerath and Brad Schwickerath as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers are Ray’s friends from his coffee and lunch groups. Military honors will be conducted by the American Legion Post #38 and VFW Post 5238. Visitation will be 3 - 8 p.m. Thursday at the Holy Family Parish - St. Joseph Center - Gathering Space, New Hampton. Further visitation continues Friday one hour prior to the service. Hugeback & Chenoweth Funeral Home in New Hampton is in charge of the arrangements. Ray was born October 4, 1926, in New Hampton the son of Max and Mae (Coddington) Klenske. He attended St. Mary’s Grade School and graduated from the New Hampton High School in 1944. While in high school Ray worked at the Firemen’s Theatre and Red Line Vending. In 1944 he entered military service serving during WWII with the 180th Army Ordinance Battalion headquartered in the Mid-Pacific. He was honorably discharged as a T/Sgt in 1946. After the war he returned to New Hampton as a projectionist and assistant manager at the Firemen’s Theatre. During those years he also worked for the Larkin Funeral Home and Furniture Store. He was appointed manager of the theatre in 1949 by Central States Theatre Corp. of Des Moines. On June 26, 1950, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in New Hampton, he married Lila Lipp. To this union two sons were born. In 1956 he accepted a position on the advertising staff at the New Hampton Economist and Tribune. In 1966, Ray and Lila found themselves back in the theatre business when the Klenske and Ray Huffman families purchased the theatre. The partnership provided jobs for their children and the youth of the community during high school years. Eventually they sold the business to the Peterson Theatres of Waverly, IA. In 1968, Ray and Lila purchased the Sears-Roebuck franchise and operated an appliance and catalog store, later moving it to a building they owned on East Main Street. In 1984, he sold the Sears business and opened Rapid Printers with the slogan, “We Print Everything But Money”. He remained in the offset printing business until he retired in 1996. Always a supporter of the local community, Ray was a member of the Chamber of Commerce and its president in 1955. He was a charter member of the New Hampton Lion’s Club when it was organized in 1951 and a former president in 1955. Ray served twelve years in City Government; as a 2nd Ward Councilman for three terms and then elected Mayor of New Hampton in 1988 where he remained in that position for an additional six years. He was a lifetime member of Holy Family Parish and served on the Parish Council at St. Joseph’s where he was a lector for many years. Memberships also include the Knights of Columbus, the American Legion and he was a Certified BBQ Judge. Ray had so much love for New Hampton and especially enjoyed being in the public eye, whether it be with the progress of the city or just being with his coffee/lunch and fishing friends. He took great pride in his family, forever bragging about his three grandsons all being Eagle Scouts and the fact that their father, C.J., had been involved to see them attain their goals as Scoutmaster. Ray is survived by his wife, Lila; one son, C.J. (Janice) Klenske of Dubuque; two brothers, Don Klenske of Cedar Rapids and Jim (Eleanor) Klenske of Waukon; three grandsons, Nick (Kara) Klenske of Brussels, Belgium, Jeff Klenske of Cedar Falls, Dan Klenske of Iowa City; several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father in 1937; his mother in 1992; his son, Mark in 2000 and a brother, Joel in 1998.

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  3. Lila: I was so sorry to learn that you lost Ray and so glad we had our brief encounter at the ‘old folks’ NYeave party last winter. You and Ray had so many experiences together in such a nice long time. Remember those when the tough times come and you are missing him so very much. Gun and I did not have so long and the need to make a liiving never permitted me to stay in NH though I surely would have like to. We did have wonderful times together and were very much in love. This sustains me. Your love will sustain you too. May God be with you every day. Elaine Gundacker

  4. We are deeply saddened by the loss of Ray. We will cherish the memories of the times we spent together and all the good times going to Godfathers, boating, card games and more. He will be forever in our hearts. Our thougths and prayers are with you during this time of grief. All our love.

  5. Dear Lila and family, We were so sorry to learn of Ray’s passing. What a privilege and honor it has been to know Ray; our community is truly a better place because of him. Those theatre memories are precious! May the happy memories help sustain you as you grieve the loss of one so dear. Thoughts & prayers. Sincerely, Steve & Francie Crawford & Charlie Vickers

  6. Lila and Family–Sorry I didn’t make it to Rays wake. We will miss ihm very much. Always enjoyed listening to his many tales and jokes and his knocks on our table when he left McDonalds. We lost some great men this year.–Maxine Skoda

  7. Lila, CJ and family….it is such a sorrow to have Ray’s passing but what a treasure he was! Reading all of his accomplishments brings back many memories….he was a good man, a great storyteller, a positive presence wherever he was..his many, many friends will have many stories to tell and we hope this will help you through….take care….

  8. Lila: My sympathy to you at this time. I have so many good memories of you and Ray. Remember all the popcorn we ate in your kitchen on North Broadway! Ray was my right hand man when Larry Krusie would come to town to work on the organ. I remember waving to Ray when he was fishing on Shingobee Bay of Leech Lake. I loved talking with him at Rapid Printers. I am sorry that I cannot be in New Hampton to celebrate his resurrection to new life. My sympathy and prayers are with you and your family. Barb Gorman

  9. Lila and family. We are sorry to hear of Ray’s death. He always had that delightful smile and cheerful attitude, and each time Ray saw us he would always say: “Hi neighbor!” We enjoyed the years we spent as your neighbors in New Hampton. Our prayers and thoughts are with you.

  10. Lila, My thoughts and prayers are with you and the family at this difficult time. Ray was a special part of our family with a lot of great memories. One special memory is of my first car, a 1966 mustang I got from you and Ray. That car, the picnics, the family get togethers, July 4th ice cream making and listening to Ray’s stories will be remembered. That was fun stuff. I pray that God will wrap his arms around you to comfort you and take some of the pain away.

  11. Dear Lila and family: Bob and I want to extend to you our deepest sympathy for your loss. We know that Ray is now rejoicing in his heavenly home. He was such a good person and gave so much of himself. We will miss him. Our love and prayers, Bob and Rose

  12. Lila, C.J., Jan and Family, So very sorry for your loss of Ray. He touched the lives of so very many people and will always have a special place in our hearts. How many times have we said, ‘Tell us another story Uncle Ray’? Much love and prayers, Larry and Darlene

  13. Lila and family – you are in my thoughts and prayers in the days ahead. May God bless and take care of you. Marguerite

  14. Lila and family, Please accept our deepest sympathy for your loss, what a void there will be for you and the New Hampton community with his passing. It was always great to run into Raymond and try to give him some grief and to just visit with him. Kathy and I are willing to bet that Dad was one of the first to greet him on his arrival in heaven and invite him to join in the wonderful banquet welcoming him home. May God comfort us all during this difficult time

  15. Lila & Family, I will remember Ray for his ever ready smile and his even quicker wit. He had an outgoing style and easygoing attitude that made him easy to like. He will be missed. Jay Weber, LKW, SC

  16. Lila and family, We’ll always remember Ray as the guy with the jokes, along with commitment to church and community projects. When I heard that Ray’s wake was at St. Joe’s Gathering Space the same time as Thursday night Bingo, I couldn’t help but think….Ray would love it that way. He always liked to see the church bustling with activity. God and Ray must be smiling down on you!!! Fondly, Tom & Rosie Deutsch

  17. Lila and Family: Our prayers are with you. You can be so proud of what Ray accomplished on this earth and that he is now in heaven with our Savior. I am sure there are lots of stories to tell up there, also. May you have strength, until you meet again. Tom and Dorann Burgart

  18. Lila, Sorry to hear about Ray’s passing. Doug and I always enjoyed Ray’s stories when ever we were in his store. Doug always called him Rapid Ray because he did all of our video store printing so fast. Blessings to you and your family.

  19. I first met Ray when I started working at the Economist and Tribune when I was in high school. Ray was a ‘real’ person. No phoniness and nothing pretentious about him. New Hampton has lost a pillar of the community, and he will be missed. Our condolences to Lila and Ray’s family.

  20. I will never forget the Saturday night routine (snacks while watching ‘Wheel of Fortune,’ supper at a local restaurant, then back to Gramma/Grampa’s for card game) you and Ray shared with Grampa and Gramma for so many years, and that I was lucky enough to be part of it all so many times! Thank you for your friendship through the years!

  21. Lila, CJ and family, I am so sorry for your loss. Ray will be missed by many. He had an art at story telling that all who knew him have enjoyed, I’m sure. I can only imagine that he and dad are already hashing over old times. Thanks for all you and Ray have done for (with) mom since dad has been gone. We won’t be able to be at the service, we are on vacation until Sunday. Cathy & Ralph

  22. Lila and family. The Katzmark family is sorry to hear of Ray’s death. He had that delightful smile and cheerful attitude. He also had a great sense of family. Our prayers and thoughts are with you.

  23. Lila – we are so sorry for your loss. We will really miss Ray. You will be in our thoughts and prayers. (we are on vacation this week and won’t be back until Sunday). We have fond memories of Ray’s story telling. Take care – Loren and Donna

  24. Lila, We are sending our deepest sympathy, prayers, and hugs. UNCLE Ray was very special to us. He was always a ball of sunshine and putting a smile on other people’s faces. Take care of you! Love, Gabrielle, Theresa, and August

  25. Lila and family, The Murphy family extends condolences in the loss of ‘Cousin Ray.’ Sunday coffee and rolls after Mass will never be quite the same without Ray’s great smile, stories, and sense of fun. Even after he became ill, we remember and treasure the smile as he would greet us with ‘Hi Murphs’ when we visited. Our community will indeed miss his presence, but we are all fortunate to have had the honor of knowing and enjoying him.

  26. Lila, Noone belts out the song’Amazing Grace’ like Ray could. I will never forget that deep gravelly voice that would sing that song like a pro. You both have been very special to our family and he will be greatly missed. We send our love and will continue to keep you in our prayers. Love always, Pam

  27. Lila, I’m so sorry for your loss. I know that no words can possibly help. Know how much Ray will be missed and take great pride in the wonderful husband you had. Love you much Lila. Christina

  28. Lila, we will always remeber Ray for his smile and wit. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time. Dean & Judy Speicher

  29. Lila, I was so sorry to hear of Ray’s passing. I will cherish the memories that I have of good ‘ol Uncle Ray, I am so grateful to have known him. May you find God’s comfort in the days ahead. Angela Glaser


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