Raymond “Ray” Leland Stoe, age 86, passed away at his home in Lindstrom, Minnesota with family present on December 14, 2020, after battling MDS/AML leukemia for nearly two years. Preceded in death by his parents, Ole Anderssen Stoe and Alma Jensina (Hellesvig) Stoe as well as eight of his nine siblings. Ray leaves behind a long-lasting legacy as a son, husband, father, grandfather, and Air Force Veteran, being stationed in Labrador, Canada during the Korean War and honorably discharged in October of 1958 with the rank of Airman First Class. During his time in the Air Force, Ray earned the National Defense Service Medal and Good Conduct Medal. He also worked to receive his GED after leaving school to do needed farm work at age 16. At the time of his Air Force discharge Ray was stationed at Lincoln Air Force Base in Nebraska.
Raymond Leland Stoe was born on May 11, 1934 at the family home in Ross, Minnesota in Roseau County, and grew up as the youngest of ten on a sheep farm during the Great Depression. As a young man, Ray did custom combining for Texas and Oklahoma. He would begin by driving a combine from Roseau MN down to Texas and Oklahoma. He would then begin combining where the crops were ripe. He would then work his way north with the combine, the crops ripening as he traveled north towards North Dakota and finally back to Roseau MN.
It was in Roseau County that he met and married the love of his life, Delores “Dee” Jenson, the daughter of Bernard T. and Cora (Lee) Jenson of nearby Badger, Minnesota. Married on May 9, 1959, Raymond and Delores would go on to have three children: Wyann, Leland/Lee, and Lori. Among the places they lived over the years were Brooklyn Park, Osseo, and Lino Lakes.
Ray will be remembered and missed for many things: his love of music, the outdoors, and hunting, along with his strong faith in God, and how much he loved being a grandpa to his eleven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. He prayed for each of his children and grandchildren each and every day, and he loved to encourage and inspire them. He would often tell real-life stories of why we must never give up hope. Even in this difficult year of 2020, he had a faith that never waivered. “Never give up” and “don’t worry, you’ll see” were some of his mottos, and he would often tell stories of why hope was essential to maintain.
As a younger man he survived the 1965 tornadoes while working at PAKO in Golden Valley by hiding with others under metal tables and holding onto metal poles until it was over. He drove home from work that day with a storm-damaged car and a back window that was gone! He also suffered frostbite as a boy once and would hide in straw (threshing) piles on the way to school to avoid freezing to death.
As a couple, Ray and Dee both participated in a monthly card game of 500 with friends that went on for over three decades. In addition, Ray also liked to hunt and fish, once dragging a 180-pound buck from the woods at age 80. He also liked pheasant hunting with his dog Shep, both skilled and loyal, along with four-wheeling, snowmobiling, and camping. He even took a fly-in fishing trip to Reindeer Lake in northern Saskatchewan with a friend named Ralph from carb club once.
Ray and Dee have enjoyed their retirement years by doing some traveling through cruises and time-shares, especially Sedona AZ and Branson MO, as well as watching the birds in their yard, meeting with their Bible-study group and attending church. Most of all, they have enjoyed visits from their grandchildren and other family.
When Ray was first diagnosed with MDS (pre-leukemia), he immediately gave thanks to God for the many good years he has had. He truly had an attitude of gratefulness, even in the worst of circumstances.
Special thanks to Ray’s oncologist Dr Touma at the VA, who showed the highest level of care in every instance, to the other wonderful staff at the VA, to the wonderful staff at Woodwinds Hospital, and to St. Croix Hospice who were so helpful for the three plus days that they were involved. They helped Ray to accomplish his desire to leave the hospital and go home to his dear wife. Thanks as well to Lord of Lakes Lutheran, his friends and neighbors, and many more that are too numerable to mention. Most of all, it would be Ray’s desire to give thanks to his God, his Lord Jesus Christ, for the many wonderful years he was given.
Ray was preceded in death by his parents and parents-in-law, four sisters and four brothers, along with one sister-in-law and five brothers in-law: Geneva (Kenneth) Johnson; Margaret (John) Albin; Delores (Myron) Johnson; Mary (Morris) Bottem; Clarence Lee; Anfin Stoe; Henry (Audrey) Stoe; Delbert Stoe; Reuben Stoe; brother-in-law Ronald Jenson, son-in-law Paul Hoage; and one niece, Betty Manship.
Ray is survived by his wife Delores Stoe of Lindstrom, MN and three children, along with eleven grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
For genealogical purposes, Ray’s and Dee’s daughter Wyann Hoage lives in Stanley and is the mother of David Back; Matt (Rebecca); Joseph Back; and Samantha, now all grown. Matt is the father of Ray’s great-grandchildren Miriam, Abigail, and Ella.
Ray and Dee’s son Lee is married to wife Kate and has two sons: Isaac (Sara) Stoe, and Tenner (Liz) Stoe. Isaac and his wife Sara have a son named Easton.
Lori is married to Rick Brown of Somerset, WI and together they have five children: Justin; Jesse (Maggie Messman) of Winona, MN; along with Mckenzie; Jordan (Abby Cole); and Jonathan. Jesse and Maggie are the parents of Scarlett Mae Brown.
In addition to his wife and children, Ray is survived by his sister Vivian of Mound, MN along with two-sisters-in-law and their husbands: Annette (Leroy) Wiskow of Silver Bay, Minnesota, and Carol (Bob) Anderson of Minot, North Dakota, as well as sister-in-law Bev Stoe of Baxter, MN, along with many nieces, nephews, and friends.
A funeral service for immediate family only will be held at Lord of Lakes Lutheran in Forest Lake on Wednesday, December 23rd, with masks and social distancing in place at the funeral. Interment will then take place at Fort Snelling National Cemetery.
Mattson Funeral Home of Forest Lake, MN is helping the family with arrangements.