FLORENCE, Wis. - Raymond "Ray" E. Steber, 95, of Florence, passed away Monday, Dec. 30, 2013, at Dickinson County Memorial Hospital in Iron Mountain.
He was born, March 20, 1918, in Antigo, Wis., son of the late Michael and Agnes (Noskowiak) Steber. Ray was the first born of nine children and was raised on a dairy farm in Antigo. In his teens he went to work in the CC camps before coming back to work on the family dairy farm in Antigo.
He met the love of his life, Lorraine Lacoque, and on Nov. 24, 1938, they were married. The couple recently celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary. Following his dream, Ray and his family moved to Florence and started Steber Seed Farms in 1954.
Ray served as town chairman for 28 years. He was a member of St. Mary Catholic Church in Florence and served on the parish council, was a member of Knights of Columbus, a charter member of the Lions Club, served on the board of directors for the State Bank of Florence and Florence Medical Center, and served on the Florence Economic Development Commission for many years.
Ray is survived by his loving wife, Lorraine; one sister, Caroline (Harold) Beck of Antigo; one son, Gary (Cindy) Steber of Florence; eight grandchildren, Wanda (Tom) Pontbriand, Rob (Karen) Steber, Gail (Dan) Donaldson, Randi (Andrew) Smith, Terry (fiance Jennifer Witynski) Steber, Laura (Tomas) Hemgren, Chris (Jen) Steber and Daniel (Stacy) Steber; 20 great-grandchildren, Amanda (Brett) Aylesworth, Tyler and Logan Pontbriand, Nathan Steber, Jeremy and Alan Donaldson, Jordan and Jacob Smith, Whitney and Randall Gregg, Hanna Zanon, Richard and Sidnie Steber, Madde, Alex and Samuel Hemgren, Bradly Steber and Carter and Wes Steber; five great-great-grandchildren, Devin Bieber, Caleb and Brody Donaldson and Lorelai and Alaina Aylesworth.
In addition to his parents, Ray was preceded in death by one son, Richard; a daughter-in-law, Susan Steber; one great-grandson, Mason Steber; and seven siblings.
Ray had a life well lived with his three passions: faith, family and farming.
Visitation will be on Thursday, Jan. 2, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Jacobs-Lundholm Funeral Home in Florence. Prayers will be recited Friday at 9:30 a.m. at the funeral home.
The funeral Mass will be celebrated Friday at 10 a.m. at St. Mary Catholic Church in Florence. Rev. Fr. Matt Settle will officiate.
Burial will be in St. Mary Cemetery in the spring.
Ray's grandchildren and great-grandchildren will serve as pallbearers, Chris Steber, Daniel Steber, Rob Steber, Terry Steber, Nathan Steber, Tyler Pontbriand, Logan Pontbriand and Richard Steber.
You may light a candle in remembrance of Ray, or leave a condolence for his family online at www.jacobsfuneralhomes.com.
The family has chosen the Jacobs-Lundholm Funeral Home of Florence to honor Ray's legacy of life.