Raymond John Schimke was born September 5, 1940 in Hazen, North Dakota. He was the son of Edwin Schimke and Ida (Miller) Schimke. He grew up in Stanton, North Dakota where he worked as a farmer to pay for his real love, being a musician. He started a band at a young age, The Teen Kings. Ray was talented at playing the accordion, banjo, harmonica and piano. His band played German music and German Polka. He was part of other bands after his youthful, Teen Kings, including the Happy Trio and Orchadettes.
In 1959, Ray enlisted in the United States Army and served four years at the base in Aschaffenburg, Germany. After his service in the Army, he moved back to North Dakota, farming and playing with his band. Ray then became involved in vacation sales which took him across much of the United States, from California to Florida and Ohio to Tennessee. In Tennessee, he met Judy Barnett. They were married and enjoyed thirty years together, twenty-four in Branson, before her passing.
Ray enjoyed many things. He loved to dance and loved to be on the water. He liked deep-sea fishing in Florida and loved the Branson lakes. Ray was a jokester. He was clever and witty and his outgoing personality ensured he never met a stranger. Ray was also a man of faith. He was baptized in the Lutheran Church. He leaves behind his loving family, including his Branson friends and his Westgate co-workers which were family to him and held a special place.
Ray entered into rest on Sunday, December 22, 2019 at Mercy Hospital at the age of 79.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Judy and two brothers, Milton Schimke and John Schimke.
Ray leaves behind three daughters, Kim Hampton of Ogallala, Nebraska, Georjean Perez and husband Juan of Ogallala and Lonnie Channing of Frisco, TX; two sisters, Agnes Lindell of Bismarck, ND and Vila Blair of League City, TX; six grandchildren, Tyler, Justin, Spencer, Kaylen, Carli and Preston; eleven great-grandchildren and one on the way. He is also survived by special friends, Kathy and Wayne Nordstrom of Bartlesville, OK and Rebel and Ace Dowell of Branson, MO along with numerous nieces and nephews.
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