Cover photo for Raymond Lester Gelinne's Obituary
Raymond Lester Gelinne Profile Photo
1915 Raymond 2015

Raymond Lester Gelinne

March 20, 1915 — October 1, 2015

Raymond Gelinne, 100, of Redwood Falls died Thursday, October 1, 2015 at Wood Dale Home in Redwood Falls. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, October 3, 2015 from St. Catherine’s Catholic Church in Redwood Falls. Full military honors will be held following the service. Burial will be held at a later date in the church cemetery. Visitation will be held Friday, October 2, 2015, from 5 until 8 p.m., with a prayer service at 6:30 p.m., all at Nelson-Hillestad Funeral Home in Redwood Falls. Visitation will continue on Saturday at the church from 10 until 11 a.m.

Arrangements are with Nelson-Hillestad Funeral Service of Redwood Falls. E-mail condolences may be sent via .

Raymond Lester Gelinne, the son of Hector and Freda (Dupont) Gelinne, was born March 20, 1915 in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. He grew up in Rhinelander and received his formal education there, graduating from Rhinelander High School in 1933. Following graduation, Ray worked for Rhinelander Refrigeration Company, which made ice boxes. In 1934, he began his career with Montgomery Ward department store, where he worked until retiring in 1978.

On April 10, 1939, Ray married Lois Susan Kofka at St. Mary’s Church in Rhinelander. They had two sons, James and Thomas. Ray’s job soon moved the family to St. Cloud and then to Owatonna, where he was promoted to store manager. In February 1944, Ray was inducted into the United States Army. He served with the 286th Combat Engineering Company in England, Germany, France, Belgium and Austria and fought in the Battle of Colmar, which liberated Alsace. Ray was honorably discharged in February 1946 and returned home to continue his employment with Montgomery Ward. He worked at stores in Antigo, Wisconsin; Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan; La Crosse, Wisconsin; Redwood Falls; New Ulm; and Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Ray’s longest service was as store manager in Redwood Falls from 1951 until the store closed in 1973.

Ray was a member of St. Catherine’s Catholic Church in Redwood Falls where he served as a lector and an usher for many years. He belonged to the United Senior Center and served as board member and as president from 1998 until 2001. Ray was a life-time member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion. His hobbies included fishing – especially ice fishing, wood working, traveling, Bingo, a daily Manhattan, and “cheating at cards.”

Ray is survived by his sons James (Marcia) Gelinne of Lincoln, Nebraska, and Thomas Gelinne (Michael DeMahy) of New York, New York; grandchildren Kris Rigg, James Gelinne, and Karla Reynoldson; nine great-grandchildren; brother Kenneth Gelinne of Greensboro, North Carolina; and seven nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife Lois in 1990, and sister Esther Kichefski.

Blessed be his memory.
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