Raymond (Ray) L. Bowdin, 85, of Rio passed away April 29, 2021 in Wyocena at the Columbia Health Care Center. He was born in Kingsville, Ohio April 22, 1936 the son of Harvey and Olive (Griffin) Bowdin. The family moved back to the Otsego area of Wisconsin when Ray was 4 years old. He was a 1955 graduate of Columbus High School. He married Barbara Lee Cutsforth October 20, 1956 at the First Presbyterian Church in Columbus.
Ray was a hard working man. He spent 32 years working as a ripsaw operator at Schweiger Industries in Jefferson retiring in 1998. After retirement, Ray delivered the Shopper Stopper in Poynette for 12 years. Ray was a simple, quiet man, with a hint of mischief -- mischief he often shared with his brother and best friend, John. He embarked on many “shortcuts” down country roads. Ray loved the outdoors, camping with his family, biking, hunting, fishing, and hiking. He passed along many lessons of the outdoors to his children and grandchildren- teaching them about hunting, fishing, and how to build a proper campfire.
Ray and Barb raised 4 children. His love for his family was evident in the way he lived his life. He was a dedicated father never missing a sporting event. He was also proud of his grandchildren and great grandchildren witnessing many of their events and milestones. He taught each of his grandchildren to fish and showed them that you can have fun doing anything at any age.
After their children left home, Ray and Barb enjoyed camping and traveling out west on their motorcycle. He had a deep love of anything western, especially John Wayne movies, Louis L'Amour novels and the mesas of New Mexico. Ray was an active participant in the Faith Bible Church community in Rio. He enjoyed making coffee on Sundays and pizzas on Pizza Night.
Ray is survived by the love of his life, Barb of Rio, his children Randy of Otsego, Jeff (full-time RV), Lynn of Rio, Nancy (John) Smith of Stratford; 9 grandchildren, Sarah Bowdin, Ryan (Rachael) Bowdin, Tommy Ejnik, Amanda (Nick) Oestreicher, Lindsay (Adam) Hermann, Amy Bowdin, Jenna Bowdin, Johnny Neuser and Taylor Ejnik; 15 great-grandchildren, Aidian, Dayton, Taylan, Samantha, Tayshawn, Tyson, Arianna, Keona, Teagan, Lyla, Trinity, Samuel, Sawyer, Franklin, and Rylee; siblings Carolyn Larson of Otsego and John (Roxy) Bowdin of Peshtigo; and nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers-in-law Dewey Cutsforth, Darrell Cutsforth, and Clarence Larsen, and sister-in-law Merilyn Cutsforth. Ray is further preceded in death by beloved pets Hound and Dixie.
A visitation will be held Saturday, May 8 from 1 to 2 PM at Faith Bible Church in Rio, followed by the funeral services at 2 PM with Rev. Mike Gormican officiating. The family would like to thank the staff on Willow Court at Columbia Health Care Center, especially Lisa, Kay, and Megan, for the amazing care given to their “Ray of Sunshine” and his family.
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