David Ray – Brainerd Dispatch

died of complications from COVID-19 on February 11, 2022 at the age of 65 in Fort Myers, Florida. Dave has traveled to the Brainerd Lakes area his entire life to visit his grandparents in Gull Lake. Dave graduated from Patrick Henry High School in Minneapolis, MN in 1974 and later attended MSU Mankato, where he mostly managed to drink free Budweisers without really trying. After graduating, Dave had a very successful career in sales and calculating math whenever possible. Dave enjoyed working and collecting classic cars that continually needed work. He also flew small planes, mostly for various pancake breakfasts in the area. Dave also enjoyed – perhaps too much – seeing “Fiddler on the Roof; he once saw it four times in one week in three different theaters. However, his greatest pride and joy were his four daughters, Chelsea, Katie, Allie and Mollie. He volunteered with the South St. Paul Youth Hockey Association as well as Kaposia Days, where he was known as the unofficial “Kaposia Days King” for his involvement when three of his daughters were princesses. Dave spent the last years of his life in his other pride and joy: an RV he used to travel the country with whoever came with him. He was a man of few words, but every word was full of quick-witted wisdom. He especially wants you to remember that farts are funny.

Dave is survived by his wife of 29 years, Leslie (Boche) Ray. He was never really a fisherman, but after meeting Leslie at the Pickle in Nisswa on opening fishing weekend, he was never the same again. He’s probably saving “The Dance” in heaven for Leslie.

Dave is also survived by his mother, Darlene, his brother, Ronald (Denise); his niece Courtney (Cal) Decowski and nephew, Matthew Ray; her in-laws, Gary and Karen Boche as well as Jeff (Amy) Boche and Gregg (Mary Jo) Boche, Ceci and Lucy; his Bud-dies Mark (Deb) Arnold, Doug (Lori) Johnson and his extended friends and family; his Golden Retriever, Addie; the step-dog Pickle; and her little baby puppy Turi. Dave is predeceased by his father, Rodney.

Our love for him will endure forever.

A celebration of life is scheduled for Wednesday, May 25, 2022 at Augustana Lutheran Church, West St. Paul, with a greeting of friends from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., followed by service. Please note that there is no dress code for this event as we all know David didn’t mind a little stain, a bit of grease or paint and even a hole under his arm with his clothes. He was just “breaking it”. Until then, please enjoy a long neck Budweiser in his honor. Cheers and L’Chaim, to Dave!

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