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Raynerd Allen Marsyla, devoted loving husband, father, father-in-law, grandfather, great-grandfather, son, brother, and friend, passed away peacefully on November 16, 2023, at St. Lukes, Duluth after a 7-year battle with Parkinson’s with his beloved wife Karen and his cherished family by his side. He was 85 years old.
On December 1, 1962, Ray married the love of his life Karen (Nistler) Marsyla, settling at home in McGregor and devoting his entire world to his family continually surrounding them with love & affection, words of wisdom, and his generous time. He had a steadfast heart of gold and patience of Job. He found pleasure in watching his daughters, grandchildren, and great grandchildren play sports, participate in school activities, and always offering a comfortable lap to the littlest family members. He warmly welcomed everyone he met to be his friend, greeting them with the latest family stories or sports team highlights. He had a keen sense of community working side-by-side other leaders, building rural vitality in the town he chose as home for 61 years. He was a servant leader on the Riverwood Board, Grand Timber Bank Board of Directors, McGregor Sports Booster Club, McGregor City Council, and numerous other organizations throughout the years. Ray poured his heart and soul into family, church, and people, proudly cheering at every game while replaying it the next day during one of many conversations he had with folks he encountered at the local coffee shop, work, post office, gas station, or sporting event. In 1982, Ray and Karen opened their home to a foreign exchange student, Eduardo Donoso, who he called his son. Ray beamed on numerous occasions when Eduardo came home for a visit, or they spoke on the phone.
Ray’s passions ran deep starting young with his brother Harland playing makeshift baseball in the yard and eventually finding success on area town ball teams, earning the nickname Yogi after Yogi Berra, the baseball great. He was an avid golfer, taking home the club champion a time or two, a bowler, he enjoyed the great outdoors in his flower garden or under a shade tree, his favorite MN athletic teams (Vikings, Twins, and Gophers preferably), antiques, decorating for Christmas, and travels to Branson with family. But mostly, he was deeply devoted to his beloved wife Karen, always walking together hand-in-hand, his six daughters and sons-in-law, his grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. His love ran deep for Jesus, his heart always full of joy and compassion. He always entertained with his keen sense of humor and wit right to the end of his days. He will be deeply missed by all.
Ray was born to Wayne and Mable Marsyla on December 29, 1937, in Ely. In 1944, the Marsyla family moved to Tamarack. He graduated from McGregor High School in 1955 and went on to work for the Fish and Game Department in St. Paul until 1958. He took a job in Tamarack working for Nelson’s store and in 1960 Gamble’s in Aitkin, MN. Ray spent 6 ½ years serving his country in the National Guard and proudly displayed the American flag. In 1964 he went to work at the State Bank of McGregor (Grand Timber Bank) as cashier and later vice president and in 1972 transitioned to manager of the McGregor Insurance Agency, until he retired after 43 dedicated years. In addition to his banking and insurance career, he was the owner of Ray Marsyla Tax Service continuing his service and support to others.
Ray is survived by wife Karen, daughters Diane (Curt) Sather, Lisa (Mike) Kruse, Sue (Steve) Ellson, Nancy Seplak, Angie (Tom) Kuppich, Paula (Nate) Jackson, 20 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren, brothers Harland (Joyce) Marsyla, Warren Marsyla, Lyle Marsyla; sisters Verna Anderson and Lenore (Tom) Bozell.
Preceded in death by his parents Wayne and Mable Marsyla; sister Ramona.
Services will be Saturday, November 25, at 11 AM at Grace Lutheran Church, McGregor with Pastor Ken Mitchell officiating. Visitation will be 1 hour prior to the service. Lunch to follow the service at Grace Lutheran Church. Go to www.srtfuneral.com to leave a message of condolence. Arrangements are with McGregor Funeral Home & Cremation Service in McGregor.