Raymond M. Michalko
Raymond M. Michalko (better known as Ray, Dad, Grandpa, Homey, and All Day Ray) 82, passed away peacefully into the loving arms of Jesus, his personal Lord and Savior, on March 1st, 2023. He was at his home with his loving wife, Vickie by his side.
Ray was born on November 28th, 1940 at his family homestead in Blackduck, MN to Paul and Anna (Smuda) Michalko. Ray’s parents immigrated to the United States in the early 1900s from Prague, Czechoslovakia. He was very proud of his Czechoslovakian heritage, but even more proud of his strong Christian faith. He was baptized on January 19th, 1941 and confirmed on March 29th, 1953 – both at Holy Trinity Church Missouri Synod in Blackduck, MN.
He graduated from Blackduck High School in 1958 and afterwards, attended classes in Thief River Falls, MN. He later moved to St. Paul, MN and worked for Witte Transportation until he transferred to La Crosse, WI in 1961 as an assistant manager. After working there for 15 years, he moved on to work for Moen Photo in La Crosse as a warehouse manager and a driver supervisor for 4 years. In 1984, he opened Ray’s Small Engine Repair Shop, working from his home. He ended up closing shop in 2003 due to health concerns. He also worked for WWTC – La Crosse in the maintenance department from 1983 until he retired in 2004. Ray continued to work during his retirement, picking up shifts to cover vacations/sick calls. He had an admirable work ethic and was a great provider for his family.
Ray was an avid fan of the Minnesota Vikings football team. He rarely missed watching a game on TV. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, and bowling as well. He was well known in the La Crosse area as a very good bowler as he was a member of the “700 Club”. At one time, he was the only known bowler in La Crosse who accomplished to bowl a 700 series in each of the bowling houses (3 at that time).
Ray met the love of his life, Vickie, at the Sports Bowl (La Crosse) in 1972. They were married on June 16th, 1973 at Faith Lutheran Church in La Crosse, WI. They almost made their 50th anniversary, but they did end up being together for a little more than 50 years. Ray and Vickie were blessed with 3 children: William, Molly, and Joseph – whom he loved and was very proud of and all of their accomplishments. Family was very important to Ray, especially his grandson, Xavier, whom he was also proud of. He taught him how to fish and Xavier taught him to play chess. He truly cherished their time together.
Ray had a great sense of humor, always making others laugh and having a good time. He made many friends throughout his life. He will be greatly missed, but will never be forgotten. He will remain in our hearts forever.
Ray was preceded in death by his parents, Paul and Anna Michalko, Brothers: John (Grace) Michalko , Edward (La Rae) Michalko, and William Michalko. Half-brothers: Paul Michalko and Frank (Kay) Chovan. Sisters: Anne (Lloyd “Buck”) Goben, Evlyne (Dick) Nelson, and Millie (Dave) Boggs. Half-sisters: Ann (Vern) Skramstad and Mary Michalko.
He is survived by his wife, Vickie (Hoverud) Michalko, sons: William (Michelle) Michalko of Rochester, MN and Joseph Michalko of La Crosse. Daughter Molly (Mark) Breidel of Onalaska, WI and grandson, Xavier Breidel of Onalaska, WI. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews.
My heart breaks for Ray’s family. Ray was such a sweet, sweet man. I enjoyed my visits with him as we shared a meal after many Saturday night church services. Ray loved his family so much. He adored Xavier. I pray for peace and love. Cherish your memories.
“Come to me all who are weary and I will give you rest”. What a comfort knowing Ray is home in the loving arm’s of Jesus. My thought’s and prayer’s are with you all.
God grant peace to Vickie and family
Ray was a faithful man
So sad to hear of the passing of Raymond. Ray and I spent many years together wether it going to bowling tournaments , playing 16 inch pumpkin ball, or just hanging out at Witte transportation. Who can ever forget the great times at Riverside park with the guys and gals known as the Riversaders. The trips to Shebouygan Wi for Bratwurst days brings back many fond memories. Although we didn’t see each other that much in his later years, Raymond was truly a great friend. May you rest in peace my good man.
Travel well Ray, you will long be remembered for your work ethic, love of family and enjoyment of bowling. At one time I believe Ray bowled in 5 leagues a week but that was pre-Vickie, who changed his life in the best way possible.
How sad I was to hear of Ray’s passing. As a fellow employee at Western, I always enjoyed interacting with Ray. As a teacher, we always depended on the custodians for help when we had issues in our classrooms or offices. I could always depend on Ray to be one of the first to answer the call and he always, ALWAYS did an exceptional job. My deepest condolences to the family. Ray will be missed and well-remembered.
The last of his original family, Rest in peace,
Uncle Ray I will surely miss you.
Randy & Mary Michalko
So very sad to hear about Uncle Ray’s passing. We miss you so much. Say hi to everyone in heaven. I would imagine that’s quite the reunion going on with all of his brothers and sisters together again.
Cheryl Nelson Theuninck & Mike Theuninck
I was so sorry to hear about Uncle Ray!!! I always loved running into them and getting together with them while I lived in the area. He will be missed by many!!