Raymond ‘Ray’ Charles Opitz

Raymond “Ray” Charles Opitz, 87, of La Crosse passed away on Jan. 12, 2022, surrounded by family. Ray was born on July 16, 1934, to Raymond and Susan Opitz.

Ray OpitzHe grew up in La Crosse and graduated from Aquinas High School in 1952. He enlisted in the United States Army and was honorably discharged in 1958. Ray married Sharon (Grimslid) after a long courtship on Aug. 22, 1970, and they were married for 51 years. She preceded him in death on December 18, 2021. He worked at Trane Company for over 40 years in production control and material planning.

Ray was most known for his calm and peaceful presence. He had such a gentle soul. He enjoyed everything in nature. Whether it be a bird in his backyard, an eagle by the river or a beautiful fall tree along the river road, nature brought him joy. Ray was an avid hunter for many years and enjoyed his friends at the hunting cabin. He and Sharon were grateful for all of the traveling they were able to do throughout their lives with family and friends, building so many good memories along the way. Ray was such a devoted husband, father and grandfather. He loved his family so much and was so present in their everyday lives.

He is survived by his son Andrew (Lyanna) Opitz and their children Aidan and Simon; his daughter, Stephanie (Bill) Skemp and their children Billy, Landon, Carly and Isaac; his brother-in-law, Gale Grimslid, and sisters-in-law Shirley (Roger) Molzahn and Bonnie Grimslid.

In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by his parents, Raymond and Susan Opitz; his siblings, James Opitz, Thomas (Ruthie) Opitz, William (Nita) Opitz and Suzanne (Dick) Mickschl; brother-in-law, Gary “Gib” Grimslid; sister-in-law, Sally Grimslid, and nephews Jerry Opitz, Jeffrey Molzahn, and Kent Grimslid.

A eulogy will begin at 9:45 a.m. and a Mass of Christain burial will be at 10 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 19, at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Onalaska, WI. Monsignor Kachel will officiate. The family requests that masks are worn. A family graveside burial will take place following the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the La Crosse Public Education Foundation for environmental education or the Aquinas Foundation.

The Dickinson Family Funeral Homes & Crematory is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.dickinsonfuneralhomes.com.