Raymond James Martin, 90, passed away peacefully Monday, August 7, 2023, at Prairie Maison in Prairie du Chien, WI, with family and hospice at his side. He was born November 28, 1932, at the home farm off Shanghai Ridge in Eastman, son of William and Loretta Boylen Martin.
Ray graduated from Seneca High school in 1950. Following military service, he began his life as a passionate farmer. He married Luella Breuer on May 7, 1957, and they rented their first farm in Patch Grove. They moved to Shanghai Ridge Road in 1962 and successfully ran their dairy farm until retiring in 1996. Ray’s favorite farming activity was working the land (plowing, planting, and harvesting), so he kept busy with custom work for neighbors until moving off the farm in 2006 further up Shanghai Ridge Road.
Ray was committed to public service as well as farming. He was proud of his army service in Germany (1953-55). He served many years on the Eastman Township board until he was elected to the Crawford County Board of Supervisors. He really enjoyed serving on the Crawford County Fair Board and the Highway Commission as part of his board duties. He also served on the board of directors for the Scenic Rivers Rural Electric Co-op (when it was Crawford Electric). Ray and Luella left a lasting legacy by selling their farm’s bottom land on the Kickapoo River to the DNR so it could be enjoyed for generations to come.
Ray is survived by his wife of 66 years, Luella Martin, three siblings (Marcia Campbell, Elaine Magdalenski, and Ed Martin); three daughters Donna (Tom) LaFleur, Jeanine (Kurt) Thurmaier, and Mary (Dale) Lenz; eight grandchildren (Ben (Monica) LaFleur, Beth (Brian) Jeffords, Gina (Larry) Parce, Anna Thurmaier, Emily (Jason) Paull, Dustin (Sara) Lenz, Jennie (Kris) Wenger, and Dominic (Amanda) Lenz, and 13 great-grandchildren (Alia and Aiden Jeffords; Andrew Ames, Eleanor and Arthur Paull; Logan, Payton and Maddox Parce; Haydin and Daven Lenz; Kallan and Harper Wenger, and Ava Lenz. One of his greatest retirement joys was watching grandkids play sports, watch them all ride the “4 wheeler” around the house, and teach them tricks like how to lick ice cream cones correctly.
He is predeceased by his parents, his sister Joan and brothers Leo, Bill, Mark, and infant Joseph.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be Friday, August 11, 2023, at 11:00 A.M. at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church, Rev. Rajendran Anandan and Rev. Thomas Huff concelebrating with burial in the church cemetery, both in Eastman, WI. Friends may call at the church on Friday from 9:00 A.M. until the time of Mass. Military honors will be accorded graveside by the American Legion Post #252 and a luncheon will follow in the church hall.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to St. Croix Hospice or St. Wenceslaus Parish.
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St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church
28075 State Hwy 27, Eastman WI 53626
St. Croix Hospice
7755 3rd St N STE 200, Saint Paul MN 55128