Thermopolis Independent Record - Your source for news in Hot Springs County

Raymond Matejka


September 21, 2017

Raymond Vernon Matejka, 84, of Thermopolis, passed away peacefully at his home with his girls by his side of leukemia on July 8, 2017.

Ray was born Sept. 22, 1932, on the family farm in Keene township, near Hawley, Minn., to John & Mary (Honcik) Matejka. Ray served his country in the U.S. Army as a tank driver from 1952-1954. After his discharge, he worked on the family farm and started his career with American Crystal Sugar in Moorhead, Minn.

On Sept. 17, 1965, he married Henrietta (Penny) Putnam and they moved to Drayton, N.D. The couple raised three daughters. They spent summers on Lake Lizzie and Upper Cormorant. Ray retired in 1985 after 20 years with American Crystal Sugar. After retiring, Ray and Penny made their home in Thermopolis, Wyo. Penny died in 1990. Ray did homebuilding and concrete work until retiring again in 2005. Upon his second retirement, he and his longtime companion Lena Difelici became snowbirds and wintered in Wellton, Ariz., for 15 very enjoyable years.

A strong and hardworking man, Ray was humble, kind, caring, and always ready to lend a helping hand. He was always ready for an adventure and always had a twinkle in his eye and a smile on his face. He had a playful spirit and liked to tease. He was a lifetime member of the Eagles and cherished his Good Sam's RV friends.

He is survived by his daughters, Janice Cook of Thermopolis, and her children Justin, Kailey, and Jonah, Nancy (Monty) Jaure of Bar Nunn, Wyo., and their children Skylair, Dylan, and Dalton, Diane (Terry) Steckler of Bismarck, N.D., and their children Dustin, Travis, and Ashley; companion, Lena Difelici and her children, Rita, Evie, Jamie, and families; sisters, Sylvia (Frank) Weaver and Josephine Kluck; sisters-in-law, Marge Matejka, Jean Blauert, and Doris Wilson; brother-in-law, David Palm, and 10 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by wife, Penny; brothers, Sonny and Emil; and sister, Evelyn.

Graveside memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 23 at Monumental Hill Cemetery, followed by a gathering and lunch to celebrate his life at Community Federated Methodist Hall, 244 N 6th St.


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