Raymond "Ray"'s Story

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Ray Thorn Jr., age 75, died unexpectedly on June 27, 2017, in North Mankato.
Funeral Service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, July 6, 2017, at Trinity Lutheran Church, St. Peter. Interment will be in Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Mankato. Visitation will be held from 4-7 p.m., Wednesday, July 5, 2017, at Northview ~ North Mankato Mortuary, 2060 Commerce Drive, North Mankato and will continue one hour before service at the church on Thursday.
Ray was born on April 29, 1942, to Raymond and Lillian (Farm) Thorn in Mankato. He graduated from Mankato High School in 1960. Ray married Beverly Johnson August 5, 1967 and they would have celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in August. Together they have farmed outside of North Mankato and raised three daughters.
Ray was very active in farm organizations including the Minnesota Corn Growers, Minnesota Soybean Association, advisory committee for Crystal Cooperative and the Pork Producers. In 1978, he helped form the Minnesota Corn Growers and was their first president for 3 1/2 years. Many people in the community also knew Ray from his home-grown sweet corn his daughters sold at various locations in Mankato, dubbed, "Thorn Corn".
Ray was an avid traveler and enjoyed road trips to all 50 states and several trips to Europe and an agricultural tour to the Soviet Union in the 1980s. In recent years, he has especially enjoyed the many vacations taken with his children and grandchildren. He was a proud Swede who always loved a good "Ole & Lena" joke. He lived by these sayings: "Proud to be an American", "Life is Good" and "Don't Quit".
Ray thoroughly enjoyed spending time at the lake and cabin with family and friends, watching numerous sport events for his grandchildren, and cherished the time spent with his two youngest grandchildren, Elise and Isaac. He always made time in his retirement years to have daily coffee with his buddies at Hy-Vee and enjoyed meeting good friends for breakfast.
Ray is survived by his wife, Bev; his daughters and sons-in-law, Pam and Chad Fitterer of North Mankato, Paula and Kip Hartman of North Mankato and Tricia and Chris Vanjoske of Champlin, MN; grandchildren, Emily and Sam Fitterer, Hayden and Evan Hartman, and Elise and Isaac Vanjoske.
Ray was preceded in death by his parents: Ray and Lillian Thorn; grandparents: Carl & Isla Thorn, Walter & Hazel Farm.
Published on July 2, 2017
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