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Vicksburg VFW Post# 5189
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Life Story / Obituary
With a life that spanned times of war and times of peace, times of plenty and times of want, Raymond Poulsen made the most of the days he was given. He was a man of honor and integrity who has been described as a hero. Ray was deeply devoted to his family, and he was so proud to witness his family tree blossom to include the grandchildren and great-grandchildren he treasured. Although he will be deeply missed, the lives of so many were touched in such a special way because of Ray’s presence.
Life was certainly exciting during the decade that we commonly recall as the Roaring Twenties. Jazz music was hot, ballroom dancing was among the latest trends, and motion pictures came to life with both color and sound. Cars were being mass produced on assembly lines nationwide, which made them more affordable for the average American family. It was during this exciting time that Raymond Poulsen was born on November 5, 1922, in Chicago, Illinois. When he was younger he moved with his family to Kalamazoo, Michigan, which is where he called home for the rest of his life. In many ways Raymond was a typical young boy of his generation, and he attended local schools.
In the early 1940s WWII was gaining momentum overseas, and although we had hoped to remain neutral America was left with no choice but to engage with the vicious attack on our nation’s naval base in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Eager to serve, Raymond wanted to enlist, but he was only in the 11th grade and his mother wouldn’t sign for him. Ultimately, he dropped out of school and then once he turned 18, Raymond joined the United States Army.
Not to be forgotten during his years as a young man was Raymond’s introduction to the woman of his dreams. Her name was Loretta, and it took him quite a while to get her to agree to go out on a date with him. Finally, Ray’s persistence paid off as they went out on a date. That date led to more dates, and soon the couple found themselves deeply in love. With a desire to build a life together Ray and Loretta were married on July 3, 1947. Together they welcomed three children including Jack, Bruce, and Raymond into their hearts and home. In order to support his family, Ray made his career at Eckrich Meats.
Throughout his life Ray was someone who was always on the go. He was also the adventurous type, even during his sunset years. When he was 89, Ray went skydiving, but he ended up needing to lie about his age on his waiver in order to make it happen. The following year he went for a ride in an open-cockpit airplane. Through both of these experiences, Ray felt a strong connection to his days in the military. In 2015, Ray took the Honor Flight to see the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C., making priceless memories. During his retirement years, he was a greeter at Walmart in Alabama as this is where he and Loretta lived once they retired. Social and someone who wanted to stay busy, Ray also enjoyed driving to Meijers and Walmart to talk to people. Around home he kept busy woodworking, and he also liked listening to his classical music records.
Kind, loving, and generous beyond compare, Raymond Poulsen was an extraordinary man to know and love. He told the best stories and always had a smile ready for all who were near. Prideful and prompt, Ray had a strong work ethic, and he gave everything his all. Ray was never one to let life get the best of him, rather, he faced whatever came his way with strength and courage. His love for his family was easy to see, and he was so proud of his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Deeply loved, Ray will be forever missed.
Raymond E. Poulsen, of Schoolcraft passed away on Monday, January 7, 2019 at the age of 96 with his family by his side. Raymond is survived by his son: Jack Poulsen, of Schoolcraft; four grandchildren: Chad Poulsen, of Vicksburg; Andy (Daniall) Poulsen, of Vicksburg; Michelle (Will) Hodgman, of Schoolcraft; Joe (Jenny Lage) Poulsen, of Vicksburg; eight great grandchildren: Kendalynn, Gracie, Easton, Jocelyn, Hailey, Davis, Sophia, Jace, Daniel, David, and Carmen. He is preceded in death by his wife, Loretta; two sons: Raymond and Bruce Poulsen; grandson, Michael Musselman; great granddaughter, Kenzie Joy Musselman. A funeral service will be held on Saturday at 11am at the McCowen & Secord Family Funeral Home, Rupert-Durham Chapel, 409 S. Main, Vicksburg (269-649-1697). The family will receive friends at the funeral home one hour prior to the service, starting at 10am. The burial will be at the Schoolcraft Cemetery.
Please visit Raymond’s webpage at www.mccowensecord.com where you can read his life story, sign the guestbook and share a memory. Those who wish may make contributions to Vicksburg VFW Post #5189.