Raymond B. Vaske, 100, of Dyersville and formerly of New Vienna, Iowa passed away peacefully, Monday, January 15, 2018, at Mercy Medical Center, Dubuque, Iowa.
Visitation will be held from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Sunday, January 21, 2018, at Kramer Funeral Home, 750 12th Ave SW in Dyersville where a parish vigil service will be held at 4:00 p.m. and an American Legion Post 137/VFW Post 7736 service will commence at 7:00 p.m. Visitation will continue Monday from 9-10:00 a.m. at Kramer Funeral Home prior to funeral services.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, January 22, 2018, St. Francis Xavier Basilica, Dyersville, Iowa with burial in St. Boniface Cemetery, New Vienna, where military honors will be accorded by American Legion Post 137 and the VFW Post #7736. Rev. John O’Connor will officiate with Fr. Carl Ries concelebrating and Deacon Roger Riesberg assisting.
Ray was born November 21, 1917 in New Vienna, the son of Clemens J. and Rosa (Koopmann) Vaske. He married Mary Margaret Besler on November 23, 1943 at St. Raphael’s Cathedral in Dubuque. Ray served in the United States Army from 1944 to 1946, stationed for one year in Japan. He was a cattle farmer on his family farm deeded from President Polk in 1846. His passions were farming, golfing, fishing, deer and turkey hunting, and watching sports. He spent time at the golf course until the age of 97. From the time of his retirement at age 62 he wrote 7 to 8 letters a day to family and friends. He was a great story teller-- he always said “I cut a seven foot swath with a 5 foot mower”. Ray enjoyed family picnics and hot dogs, but hated grape jelly. Ray sang O Tannenbaum in German and “Five Golden Rings” with flourish. He loved his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He lived by himself at home until he was 100 years old.
Ray served on the St. Boniface School Board who helped start Beckman Catholic High School. He also served on the Dubuque County School Board who created the three county Keystone AEA. He was a member of the Dyersville Country Club, American Legion Post # 137, VFW Post #7736, and the St. Francis Xavier Parish.
Survivors include his children: Judith (Walter) Welling of New Vienna, Barbara Vaske of Des Moines, Connie Kruger of Salt Lake City, UT, grandchildren: Philip (Laura) Welling, Peter Welling, Sarah (Ed) Dring, Megan (Josh) Dugan, Ryan (Shalee) Kruger, great grandchildren: Logan Welling, Maddison Welling, Jadyn Welling, Coby (Emily) Nelson, J.J. Dugan, Chase Dugan, Andrew Dring, Alex Dring, siblings:, Inez Schultz of Dubuque, brother-in-law: Jake (Gerri) Besler of Dubuque.
He was preceded in death by his parents, step mother, Susan Vaske, his wife, Mary Vaske in 1987, siblings: Edgar (Louise) Vaske, Hugh (Dorothy) Vaske, Fr. Martin O. Vaske S.J., Minnie (Matt) Carroll, Larry (Kate) Vaske, Alphonse Vaske, Vince (Lucinda) Vaske, In-laws: Eldon Schultz, Bill (Eileen) Besler, Catherine (Chester) Polus, Lucille (A.J.) Warsek, Gladys (Allan) Bemis, Leo (Corky) Besler, Louis (Peggy) Besler, Tillie (Howard) McElmeel, Joe (Molly) Besler.