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Ray Detke, 85

Jan 22, 2012

Ray Detke

Blue Earth – Ray Detke, age 85, died peacefully in his sleep at home in Blue Earth on Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012.

Mass of Christian Burial was held at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Blue Earth on Jan. 19, 2012. Burial was in Calvary Cemetery, Blue Earth. Patton Funeral Home and Cremation Service was in charge of arrangements.

Ray was born on June 23, 1926, to Albert and Clara (Broghammer) Detke in Divide County, N.D. He graduated as valedictorian from Alamo High School in 1944. He served in the Navy during WWII from January 1945 to June 1946 as a radar operator in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

He worked for John Deere as a service manager and as a territory manager before coming to Blue Earth in 1954 to run the local John Deere dealership. He owned and managed Detke-Morbac until his retirement in 1992. He was involved in various aspects of the community serving as a Board Director at Mid-America Bank (now Wells Fargo), as a foundation board member for United Hospital District, and as a church council member, minister of communion and usher at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church.

He married Mary Sonnek on Jan. 14, 1961, at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church in Easton. They celebrated 51 years of marriage and raised three children. They enjoyed their annual travels to the Phoenix area throughout their marriage, eventually splitting their time between their homes in Scottsdale and Blue Earth. Ray will be remembered for his integrity in business, his joy in family and friends, his constant curiosity and his endless sense of humor.

Ray is survived by his wife, Mary; his three children, Jean (Joe) Kelly, of Lindstrom, Mark (Debbie) Detke, of Houston, Texas, and Carol Hamlin, of Plymouth; and four grandchildren, Megan Kelly, Maura Kelly, Caitlin Detke and Sam Detke. He is also survived by three siblings, Fred (Shirley) Detke, of Sun City, Ariz., Arlin Detke, of Carson City, Nev., and Mary Stokes, of Carson City.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and four siblings, Henry “Bud” Swenson, Milton Swenson, Alberta Detke and Charles Detke.

Web tributes may be left at www.pattonfh.com