Raymond “Ray” Theodore Belisle, 66, of Beldenville, Wisconsin, and formerly of Centuria/St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin, died suddenly at his home on July 5, 2021. Ray was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Raymond Alfred and Marion Marie (Schmidt) Belisle. He grew up in the Blaine, Minnesota, area and graduated from Spring Lake Park High School with the Class of 1973.
Ray worked for decades in manufacturing, where he provided management and quality assurance oversight while at Polaris, Specialty Engineering and HB Elevators. Ray earned the respect of many for his mechanical mind and his eye for detail. He was also very handy with construction and carpentry work and could build almost anything. He was the kind of guy who never hesitated to lend a hand to anyone who needed it. Outside of work, Ray had an affinity for the outdoors. Hunting, fishing and shooting were among his favorite things to do. That, and a good Western. Ray lived for a few years in Texas and considered it his second home. He was a true cowboy at heart.
Ray was one of those guys everyone loved to be around. Quick with a smile and a story, he loved to indulge in a good conversation with friend or stranger alike. His trademark chuckle and jovial demeanor were infectious, reminding others to slow down and take stock of what mattered most of all.
Over the last few years, Ray bravely fought a battle to regain his health. Even amid constant disappointment, he focused on what was going well, always finding the bright side. But that was Ray. No matter what the obstacle, he somehow found the silver lining. He would tell you that his faith gave him his optimism, strength and solace. Knowing that he was a child of God brought him profound comfort and peace.
But it was Ray’s family that brought him joy. He was immensely proud to be the dad of his two boys and always strove to give them the best life possible. Then came the grandkids, who were the lights of his life. And they adored him. Although this moment is full of profound sadness, we continue to see his influence alive in those who loved him. How lucky for the world that he was here. He will be deeply missed.
Ray is survived by his sons, Derek (Briana) Belisle and Jason (Pam) Belisle; his grandchildren, Austin, Rafe, Everett and Evangeline; his brother, Don Belisle; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and good friends. Ray was preceded in death by his parents; and his brothers, Terry and Brett.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held Monday, July 12, at St. Bridget Catholic Church in River Falls, with the Rev. Jerry Harris officiating. Burial followed the same day at Ray’s final resting place in the Holy Rosary Catholic Cemetery in Georgetown, Wisconsin. The family encourages memorials honoring Ray to be directed to St. Bridget’s Catholic Church, 211 E. Division Street, River Falls, WI 54022.
Services were entrusted to the O’Connell-Benedict Funeral Home of River Falls, 715-425-5644.