American Veteran 04

Raymond J. DeBaets

March 6, 1932 ~ March 10, 2022 (age 90)


  Raymond J. DeBaets, age 90, of Reedsburg, passed away on Thursday, March 10, 2022 at Oak Park Place, Menasha, WI where he had been a resident for a short time.  Ray was born on March 6, 1932 at Seven Mile Creek, Juneau County, WI, the second son of Emil and Kathryne (Stabnaw) DeBaets.  On September 29, 1956, he married Mary Bohatta at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in New Lisbon, WI.

  In his early years, Ray served in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict and was stationed in Japan.  After service, he worked for Vitaplus, was a machinist for Beloit Corporation and was also a mechanic at Hartje Implement.  He always complained that he would walk to work if gas hit $ 1.00 and, completely by ironic timing, he did just that when he opened his own shop, Ray’s Repair, in 1976.  Although his shop in his garage didn’t allow him to work on tractors with cabs, he could fix any brand of tractor with any type of problem and generally had four projects going at once.  He especially enjoyed helping young farmers just starting out.  He was a talented builder and completely remodeled their home.  When his vision limited his ability to work in his shop he kept busy mowing lawn or listening to old country music, which he was always humming while he worked.  There was disappointment in his voice in recent weeks when he knew he wouldn’t be mowing lawn this summer.

  Ray was told by his doctors that he was a “tough nut” having survived many significant health issues over the years.  His goal was to turn 90 and have a pizza party.  We were more than honored to make that happen.

  Ray is preceded in death by his brothers: Eugene, William, Robert and Bernard; sisters-in-law: Arlene and Judith DeBaets, and brothers-in-law: David Bohatta and Paul Hoffmeyer.

  Survivors include his wife: Mary; children: Laura (Bruce) Koenig, of Loganville; Linda (Jerry) White, of Reedsburg; Ellen Lind (Jeff Luniak), of Appleton and Daniel (Susan) DeBaets, of Reedsburg; grandchildren: Stephanie, Carl James, Nathan, Kelly, Ryan, Jessica, Jacob, Kevin, Bryan and Joshua; twelve great-grandchildren; his brother: Donald; sisters-in-law: Elisabeth DeBaets, Patricia DeBaets, Arlene (Walter) Farber, Connie Hoffmeyer, Gayle Bohatta and Carolyn (Bill) O’Brien.

  A private family service will be conducted on Tuesday, March 15, 2022 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Reedsburg with Father Patrick Wendler officiating.  Interment will be in Calvary Cemetery with military honors provided by the Reedsburg Area Veterans Honor Guard.  There will be a visitation from 4:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. on Monday, March 14, 2022 at the Hoof Funeral Home in Reedsburg.  Masks may be worn at the discretion of each individual.  It is preferred that memorials be made to the family.  It is our intention to forward them to a mechanics program.

 The Hoof Funeral Home is serving the family.  

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Raymond, please visit our floral store.


March 14, 2022

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Hoof Funeral Home
312 N. Park Street
Reedsburg, WI 53959

Private Services

Sacred Heart Catholic Church
624 N Willow St,
Reedsburg, WI 53959

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