Raymond Wester


Raymond Wester Raymond “Ray” N. Wester, age 90 of Westbrook, passed away unexpectedly of natural causes Monday, April 11, 2016 at his home.  Funeral services will be at 2:30 p.m. Friday, April 15 at Immanuel Baptist Church in Westbrook.  Visitation is 5:00-7:00 p.m. Thursday at the Westbrook Funeral Home.  Burial is at 1:30 p.m. Friday in the Westbrook Cemetery.  Online condolences may be sent at www.stephensfuneralservice.com.  Stephens Funeral Service – Westbrook Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

Raymond Nicholas Wester was born June 3, 1925 at home in Larkin Township, near Lismore, Minnesota to John B. and Mary (Didier) Wester.  He attended country school district 60 near his home.  On June 22, 1950 Ray married Gertie Doeden in Lismore.  He farmed for 30 years at Adrian, Sibley, Iowa, and Currie.  Ray and Gertie owned Wester’s Coffee Corner in Westbrook.  He also worked for many years at the Walnut Grove Sales Barn.  Ray and Gertie opened their home to 76 different foster children over a period of 30 plus years.  He was a member of Immanuel Baptist Church.  Ray loved his church, his wife, children, and grandchildren, and his dog Phoebe.  He played Santa Claus in the Westbrook area for over 25 years.

Ray will be dearly missed by many, including his wife Gertie of 65 years; children: Mike (Kim) Wester of Westbrook, Tim (Jocelyn) Wester of Westbrook, and Barbara (David) Arnold of Waterville; special foster daughter Angie (Darrell) Woods of Terril, IA; 8 grandchildren: Angie, Kelly, Ben, Kristopher, Nicholas, Gretchen, Megan, and Taylor; 21 great grandchildren; and brother-in-law Norbert Mormann of Adrian.  He is preceded in death by his parents, brother Armond, and sisters Alice Fritz, Margaret Mormann, Dorothy Marco, and Phyllis Baloun.


  1. Donna Dunlap says:

    From the time Ray and Gertie moved up to the Westbrook/Walnut Grove area from Iowa and we became acquainted with them through attending the same church in Westbrook, they and Lloyd and I became very good friends and that friendship has lasted since the early 1960’s. There are so many memories ~ camping experiences, a vacation to Duluth and into Canada, watching our six kids playing together, Ray & Lloyd working together, and endless great conversations over many cups of coffee. I never will forget the first time they came to visit us ~ I didn’t have any cookies baked and we ended up having just crackers and cheese with the coffee…..but the fellowship was still sweet! Friendships and memories ~ ~ what a gift from God!

  2. Douglas Reker says:

    Ray and Gertie always made us kids welcome in their home. Their children one of whom is equal to my age are also friends growing up and we had great times. I recall staying at their home when they were living in Sibley, Iowa. One will note that love of their family was actually extended to foster children whom they cared for. Ray and Gertie are amazing individuals as well as living role models of christianity. Much respect, love and admiration, you will be missed.

  3. Michelle Tolzmann says:

    Opa was beautiful man and a treasure to be around. He always had a big hug and a kiss for you. Kiddo was an endearment he used often. He was beloved here on earth , now God has him by his side and will forever be in our hearts.

  4. Gayle Christians says:

    Uncle Ray was the best uncle any niece could ever have. Curt, Dan and I grew up with Barb, Mike and Tim and when we visited we played ball all the time. There are so many great memories of our families together. Ray is now in his heavenly home welcomed by my dad Evert, brother Dan, my sister in law Cheryl, Grandma and Grandma Doeden, Harold & Harriet, and all the other relatives we all loved and will never forget. Love you Uncle Ray.

  5. Steve and Mary Larson says:

    Our sincere sympathy to Gertie and Ray’s children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and all loved ones, family and friends.

  6. Annette & Sue Haberman says:

    We feel so blessed to have met Ray! Kind, funny, fiesty young man! Great smile & laugh… Enjoyed the tea party with you Ray! God Speed… God bless you and your family during this great loss!
    Hugs, kisses to all of you!

  7. Eunice Christensen says:

    Our granddaughter, Andrea, was visiting Ronnie and me in December when she was still too young for school. She absolutely LOVED sitting on Santa’s lap at the Westbrook bank. Of course, Santa was kind, loving Ray! What a great couple Ray and Gertie were, and what an impact they made on so many lives. The world was a better place because of Ray (and you, Gertie) Wester. May you all be comforted by precious memories of happy times.

  8. Judy Fritz says:

    Aunt Gertie, Barb, Mike, Tim and Angie & your families; my heart goes out to each of at this time of change at the loss of Uncle Ray. Thoughts of his joy filled smile, twinkling eyes & bearing brings a smile to my face. He sure knew how to give a hug – a valuable talent in my eyes. Aunt Gertie, just want you to know, you make the best scrambled eyes I have ever had! Funny what we remember & cherish! God be with each of you. Love Judy

  9. Nettie and Mark tracy says:

    We are sorry to hear of your loss. Ray and Gertie were always so go to Mom and Dad Beek. I will miss visiting with him.

  10. Deb (Wahl) Johnson says:

    Rarely do you come across a person who, whenever you think of them, remember them as absolutely always having a smile on their face, a kind word to say and who was genuinely interested in you as a person. Ray’s patience and sense of humor were gifts he shared so generously with everyone who ever knew him. Gertie, Tim, Mike & Barb, to all of you and your families, my most heartfelt sympathy. I know how much you will miss him but imagine the party some day when you see him again!

  11. David R. Rupp says:

    So sorry to hear the news. Ray and his family have been long-time good friends. He was the best “rack” man I had for seventeen years of auctioneering, a hard worker for me on the farm, and a great friend to visit with over coffee. Ray always made me laugh and smile with his wit and great sense of humor. May God bless the memories we all have of Ray, and may God be with Gertie, and his large family.

  12. Our sympathy to Gertie, and to Ray’s family…may the pleasant memories help you through this sad time. Ray was such a friendly person and leaves the community with many good memories. Rod and Nancy B.

  13. Luana Jacobs Van Maanen says:

    Sending heartfelt sympathy to the family…so many memories of times with the family when you lived north of Walnut Grove. We had so much fun as kids playing on the farm. Mom (Gloria) treasured your friendship and always looked forward to your visits. Gertie, Tim, Mike & Barb and your families…cherish the wonderful memories of a husband dad who had a great sense of humor and love he generously shared with others. Ray will be missed.

  14. Mari and Jon Saxhaug says:

    We send our sympathy to Ray’s family. Jon has many good memories of growing up with the boys.

  15. Gary & Carol (Voss) DeJong says:

    Ray and Gertie lived “across the road” from us near Sibley when I was a little kid. I believe Mike and Tim made me into a tomboy until they sadly moved to Westbrook. I am back on the same farm and wish you were still across the road. I miss my good neighbors! Enjoyed a quick visit with both Ray and Gertie a few years ago along with my sisters Emily and Susan, and it was wonderful seeing them again! Praying for you, Gertie, in this immense loss as you have a large and loving heart. Praying for Mike, Tim and Barb, their families and all of the individuals that lived in their care. May you all be better people for having known their love and guidance!

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