Ray John Locher Jr.

Published 6:15 am Sunday, June 11, 2023

Ray “Bo” John Locher Jr., 77, born and raised in Austin Minnesota, passed away peacefully in Eau Claire, Wisconsin on Monday, June 5, 2023. He was in the presence of his loving wife, Linda, when he died in his own home.

Ray John Locher Jr.

Ray was born on February 26, 1946 in Austin, Minnesota. He was the son of Ray and Regina Locher. Ray was the 6th child of a family of 8 children being raised. He began his grade school in a country school near Austin. He graduated from Pacelli High School in Austin, Mn, in 1964. Ray joined the Navy in 1964, and served until 1968. Ray attended the Naval Tactical Data School in San Diego, Cal., served in the Positive Identity Radar Advisory Zone, and was an air traffic controller during his time in the service. He served 6 campaigns in Vietnam in a position using swift boats and was considered a River Rat. He was also a Black Beret, receiving many medals of honor. He entertained the thought of being a lifer in the service, but decided it was time to come back to the states, receive an education, and be near his family. Ray graduated from Dunwoody with an electrician degree and a Bachelor of Administration in Business and Marketing from Mankato State University. Doing electrical work on the side, he applied for a job at Hormel Foods in Austin and worked from 1969 until he was disability retired from an industrial accident. From then on, he educated himself studying stocks and investing throughout his retirement years. He was always eager to teach anyone willing to learn about the stock world.

In 1978, Ray met his wife of 44 years, Linda Gorecki. They met while they were both attending college in Austin, Mn. They married on August 18, 1979 in Milaca, Minnesota. They both loved the “simple” life of the country, and eventually moved to the city of Eau Claire in 1990 where he spent his last years. They both enjoyed traveling and camping in their RV’s, fishing, and sightseeing. Family was very much a part of Ray’s life and he loved any opportunity he could to be with relatives, laughing, playing 500, reminiscing, and enjoying good home cooking. He loved life and friendships were lifelong, especially his friends from his high school days. He was so happy when he learned Facebook and was able to reconnect on a daily basis…he felt those friendships were never ending. In moving to Eau Claire, his friends from the YMCA also became very special to him.

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Ray was a lifetime member of the DAV, the USO, the Order of the Silver Rose, Life Member of AFL-CIO, American Legion, and Veterans of Foreign Wars. He was also a Phi-Beta Cappa member from his college days.

Ray will be missed by the love of his life, his wife, Linda. They were soul mates for 45 years, and he will forever be foremost in her heart as a wonderful husband, kind, trusting, considerate, and very loving all their married life. His catholic faith was important to him from an early age, and continued through his entire life. He lived his life with goodness, and often gave of himself beyond measure.

Ray is survived by siblings: John Locher, Catherine Tollefson, Dorothy Lukes, Maureen Bibus. Sister-in-law Patricia Locher, Brother-in-law Micheal Bibus and many wonderful nieces and nephews. Also, he cherished his pets during his last months of life, Sage and Bailey.

Ray was preceded in death by his parents, Ray and Regina Locher, brother Landol Locher, sisters Carol Rae Schaefer, Susan Kay Rauen Bjornson. Grandparents. Sisters-in-law Virginia Locher, Mary Rahm, Sandra Gorecki, and Kate Gorecki. Brothers-in-law Robert Lukes, Duane Tollefson, Richard Schaefer, Ray Bjornson, Steven Gorecki, and Kenneth Rauen. Nephews Christopher Locher, Daniel Locher, and Matthew Schaefer.

Ray would want to thank his doctor, Joanna Setla, for all her wonderful care during his recent illness, and the caregivers at Mayo Hospital in Eau Claire and lastly, Sacred Heart Hospital. His death was from renal failure.

Ray’s has requested that memorials be made to the American Cancer Society, the USO, and St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Altoona, Wi.

Private family graveside services will be held at a later date at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church Cemetery, Brennyville, Mn.

Lenmark-Gomsrud-Linn Funeral and Cremation Services is assisting the family with arrangements.

To express online condolences, please visit www.lenmarkfh.com.