Raymond “Ray” R. Ortegren, 94, of Grand Island, formerly of Hastings and Palmer, died on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, at the Primrose Retirement Community in Grand Island.
Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday at Faith Lutheran Church, 837 N. Chestnut, Hastings. Interment will be at 2 p.m. in the Rose Hill Cemetery at Palmer. Pastor Paul Dunbar and Pastor Joshua Davis will be officiating.
Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. on Monday at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 502 Utica St., Palmer, and an hour prior to services on Tuesday at the church in Hastings. Memorials are suggested to St. John’s Lutheran Church in Palmer or Faith Lutheran Church in Hastings. Greenway-Dietz Funeral Home in Palmer is in charge of arrangements.
Ray was born Dec. 20, 1924, at Phillips to Henry and Dagmar “Dolly” (Anderson) Ortegren. He graduated from Hordville High School in 1942. He joined the U.S. Army in August 1944, serving in the artillery unit, being honorably discharged in July 1946 as a sergeant.
Ray married Melba Ann Wilshusen on Oct. 18, 1946, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in rural Polk County. They farmed in various places in Central Nebraska prior to settling in Palmer. They enjoyed camping and traveling. They traveled to all 50 states except Florida, 13 foreign countries, all provinces in Canada, except for two. They thoroughly enjoyed “wintering” in Arizona for 22 years.
They were members of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Palmer prior to becoming members of Faith Lutheran Church in Hastings. Ray was a lifetime member of the VFW.
Ray worked for the USDA as an animal health technician. He was a “people person” and enjoyed traveling with his job and meeting new people. He ran the clock for football and basketball games in Palmer for 30 years. His greatest enjoyment in life was spending time with his family. He was very proud of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Survivors include his sons and daughters-in-law, Jack and Marg Ortegren of Johnson Lake, Gail Ortegren of Hastings and Bruce and Pat Ortegren of Omaha; daughters and sons-in-law, Janet and Kurt Rump of Rochester, Minn., Nancy and John Knapp of Grand Island and Lynette and Dave Wojahn of Hastings; 14 grandchildren; 31 great-grandchildren; and a brother-in-law, Wayne Hedges of Pontiac, Ill.
Ray was preceded in death by his wife, Melba Ann; his parents, Henry and Dolly; a daughter-in-law, Jackie Ortegren; a brother, Hubert “Bud” Ortegren; and a sister, Marjorie Hedges.
Online condolences may be directed to the family at www.greenwayfh.com.