Raymond John Weiss, beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, cousin, and friend went to his eternal home on December 29, 2021, surrounded by his family.
Ray was born to John (Jack) and Helen Weiss on July 15, 1942, in Plain, Wisconsin. He grew up in Monona, WI, along with siblings, Eileen McCarville (Jim), Ned Weiss (Pat), Kathy Muenster (Ken), and Larry Weiss. Ray attended Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic School and graduated from Edgewood High School in 1960. Ray spent the summers of his childhood and adolescence on his Uncle Zeno’s dairy farm, learning how to drive a tractor, milk cows and raise pigs. His love of agriculture led him to pursue a degree in Poultry Science, which he earned at the University of Wisconsin, Madison in January 1965.
That same month, he met the love of his life, Phoebe Eisele, at Chesty’s Bar on State Street in Madison, WI. In February 1966, Ray and Phoebe were married at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church, in Madison. They remained partners in their marriage adventure for over 55 years. They had seven children, Jennifer Crombie, Pam Nortman (John), John Weiss (Leda), Raymond G. Weiss (Julie), Mary Weiss, Katy Weiss (Sam Stellpflug), Amy Pitner (Nate). Ray was also blessed with 17 grandchildren and they filled his heart with pure joy; Jack Nortman, Lauren Crombie, Alyssa Weiss, Molly Nortman, Clark Crombie, Andrew Weiss, Ben Nortman, Isaac Pitner, Elizabeth Weiss, Adam Nortman, Eli Pitner, Mia Nortman, Jonah Nortman, Luke Rawlins Weiss, Sydney Stellpflug, Nolan Stellpflug, and Annie Stellpflug.
In March 1973, Ray moved his family to Beaver Dam, to begin working at Northern Hatcheries, Inc. where he sold baby chicks to egg farms across the Midwest. He became a well-respected salesman in the Poultry Industry, where he built many long-lasting professional and personal relationships. Ray was passionate about his career and would often share that it felt like he never worked a day in his life. His passion for the business prompted him to purchase his own chicken farm, affectionately called Phoebe’s Feathers. Later, Ray would partner with his son, John, to create a free-range egg farm. His entrepreneurial spirit led to him running multiple successful businesses in his later years.
Ray was always a farmer at heart. He loved his family and country life. In October 1983, Ray and Phoebe, along with their seven children, moved onto the family farm in Beaver Dam, WI, fulfilling his boyhood dream. The years that followed were filled with fun and misadventures – chasing runaway cows, riding horses, naming kittens, and playing in the haymow. The farm was a beautiful backdrop, where the family grew up and made lasting memories.
Ray was an avid Wisconsin sports fan. The Brewers, Badgers, and Packers gave him thrills and frustrations. This passion fueled him and bonded generations of his family.
Ray’s Catholic faith was the central guiding presence in his life. He taught Religious Education for many years and was involved in parish life at St. Katharine Drexel Parish. He placed the highest value on going to Mass and receiving Holy Communion. He strived to live his life through the example of Jesus Christ.
Ray was known for his kind and bottomless generous heart. He gave of himself at every opportunity. He was the best man any of us have known.
Ray was preceded in death by his parents, Jack and Helen Weiss, his brother Ned Weiss and his sister-law Pat Weiss, his brother Larry Weiss, his brothers-in-law Ken Muenster and Jim McCarville, and his grandson Adam Joseph Nortman. He is survived by his wife, Phoebe, his children, and grandchildren.
A visitation will be held at Koepsell-Murray Funeral Home on Tuesday, January 4, 2022 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. where the rosary will be recited at 7:00 p.m. There will also be a visitation at St. Katharine Drexel Church in Beaver Dam on Wednesday, January 5, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:50 a.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will follow at church on Wednesday beginning at 12:00 p.m. with Rev. Patrick Wendt officiating. Interment will be at the St. Peter Cemetery following the Mass. A luncheon will be held at the St. Katharine Drexel Parish Center in Mission Hall.
The Koepsell-Murray Funeral Home in Beaver Dam is caring for the family. To leave online condolences, please visit our website at www.KoepsellFH.com.