Raymond Benjamin Reichelt, 92, died of natural causes at Hosanna House Assisted Living Center in Great Falls on Monday, June 25, 2007.
His funeral service will be held at the Big Sandy United Methodist Church at 2 p.m. Thursday with Pastor Marvin Eldridge officiating. Burial will follow at the Big Sandy Cemetery. A reception will be held at the Big Sandy Senior Citizens Center immediately after the services at the graveside. Ray was born June 20, 1915, to Benjamin and Jennie (Larson) Reichelt in Humboldt, S. D. The family moved to Big Sandy in 1917 and established a homestead southwest of town. Ray remained in the Big Sandy area and farmed in the community all of his life. He married Mary Pleninger in 1950 and they settled on their beloved farm northwest of Loma until their retirement. Besides his wife and family, Ray had three great passions. The first was baseball. He was a top notch pitcher for hometown teams in Kenilworth and Big Sandy and loved to reminisce about the July 4 games at the Dakota Picnic and the time he struck out 15 batters in a row. He also had a passion for electronics and loved to build and repair radios, televisions and other equipment. Later in life he became engrossed in oil painting and examples of his work are in local museums in Big Sandy and Fort Benton. A large mural he painted is a main feature at a highway rest stop at the old Verona town site south of Big Sandy. Ray was actively involved in soil conservation programs and was very proud of preserving soils and wildlife habitat on his farm. For a few years he also owned and operated a farmer’s co-op. Always active in the community, he was involved with the Oddfellows, the Methodist Church, Farmer’s Union Co-op and he served on the board of Triangle Telephone Cooperative for more than 15 years. He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary; and brothers, Maurice, Donald, Hubert, Eugene, Clyde and Kenneth Reichelt. Raymond is survived by daughter, Rae Nita (Pete) Wurjensen of Huntsville, Texas; son, Ted (Heather) Reichelt of Portland, Ore.; sister, Mardella (Bob) Jordan of Bozeman; and brother, Calvin (Georgia) Reichelt of Lynnwood, Wash.; and two granddaughters. The family suggests donations in his memory to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the American Cancer Society or to organizations promoting conservation and wildlife. Arrangements have been entrusted to Holland and Bonine Funeral Home.