Ray F. Wermers, 87, of Watertown, SD, passed away on Monday, January 28, 2019 in his home.
A funeral Mass will be at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, February 2, 2019 at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Watertown with Father Paul Rutten as celebrant. Music will be furnished by Ina Wesche as cantor, the Immaculate Conception Funeral Choir and Danielle Holmquist-Holida as organist.
Visitation will be from 4-6 p.m., a scripture service at 6:00 p.m. and a rosary by the Knights of Columbus to follow on Friday, February 1st at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church.
Pallbearers will be Ray's grandsons: Garett Steers, Charlie Davisson, Joey Davisson, Evan Steers, Daniel Davisson, Ray Wermers, Michael Davisson and Kody Aesoph.
Interment will be at St. Mary's Cemetery, Watertown, SD.
Raymond Francis Wermers was born on his family farm at Dimock, SD, the fifth of eight children, on November 7, 1931 to Leo A. and Josephine E. (Germscheid) Wermers. Ray was baptized and confirmed at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Dimock, attended Saints Peter and Paul grade school and graduated from Parkston High School.
At the age of 19, his father passed away and Ray took over the farming operation with his mother and two younger brothers.
On May 25, 1957, Ray was united in marriage to Janice A. Schmitt at Church of the Epiphany, Epiphany, SD. They continued farming until 1960, then moved to Rapid City, SD where Ray worked in construction. Beginning in the fall of 1964, he attended college at Black Hills State College and then Southern State College graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Vocational Education. He began his professional teaching career at Southwest Junior College in Creston, IA and later accepted the opportunity to start the Building Trades program at Lake Area Technical Institute in 1967. Ray taught at LATI for 25 years.
Ray loved his faith, family and community. Throughout his adult years, he was a willing volunteer and actively involved in many church committees and civic organizations. Ray was a dedicated lifetime member of the Knights of Columbus. He was a loving husband, a generous father and proud grandfather.
Grateful for having shared his life are his wife of 61 years, Jan, two daughters, Madonna (John) Davisson of Raleigh, NC, Diane (Bob) Steers, of Miller, SD and son, Marty (Jill) of Yankton, SD. Bringing much joy to him and Jan are grandchildren, Garett Steers, Emma (Kody) Aesoph, Evan Steers, Charlie, Joey, Daniel and Michael Davisson, Molly and Ray Wermers. He is also survived by his sister, Florence Willis, Sioux Falls, SD and brother Herb (Helen) Wermers, Pueblo, CO, sisters in law Clarissa Wermers, San Diego, CA, Eunice Wermers, Spillville, IA, Sister Madonna Schmitt, Yankton, SD, Shirley (Darell) Eich, Rapid City, SD, and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, parents in law, brothers Jim, Bill, Leo (Doris) Wermers, sister Iona (Art) Dutton, infant sister Marie, brothers in law George Willis, Duane (Cheryl) Schmitt and sister in law Carol (Bob) Bennett.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be directed to the Catholic Community Foundation for Eastern South Dakota benefiting the Ray and Jan Wermers Endowment.