Orrin “Ray” Retrum, age 97, Benson

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Ray Retrum, 97, died  Monday morning, June 29, 2015 at the Glenwood Retirement Village.
Funeral services were held at 11 a.m., Friday, July 3, at Our Redeemer's Lutheran Church in Benson. Visitation was held from 5-7 p.m.  Thursday, July 2, at the Our Redeemer's Lutheran Church in Benson and also for one hour prior to the service at the church. Burial followed the service at the West Bank Cemetery.
Orrin Raymond “Ray” Retrum was born February 11, 1918 in West Bank Township, Swift County, on a farm northwest of Big Bend, Minnesota.  His parents were Nelvin and Magda Retrum. In 1920, he moved with his parents to a farm in section 14 of West Bank Township where he lived until he moved to Benson in 1989.
Ray was baptized and confirmed in West Bank Lutheran Church and graduated from the 8th grade at District #77, then started farming with his father and also working for the neighboring farmers.
Ray married Sylvia Ellingson  June 9, 1945 and celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary three weeks ago at the Glenwood Retirement Village.  Ray and Sylvia were blessed with five children. The first two died in infancy, Susan was born in 1950, Kenneth in 1953, and Rob in 1956.
Ray was active in his church and community.  He served as Trustee, Deacon, and treasurer at West Bank Lutheran Church; he served as a member and reporter of the West Bank Township and ASC Township Committee, as a clerk for West Bank Township, as a treasurer for District #77, and as a board member for State of Minnesota Township Officer’s Association.
After retiring from farming in 1984, Ray started a second career around 1990 as a part time driver for the Agvise Laboratories, which he enjoyed for 15 years. Among the many retirement activities for Ray and Sylvia were 11 winters at their home in Adams Gardens by Harlington, Texas, many road trips with Rustad Tours of Kerkhoven, Sons of Norway, and meeting a new set of friends at Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church after he and Sylvia joined in 1992 and also those met on and around 19th St. S. in Benson.
Survivors include his wife Sylvia of Glenwood, one daughter, Susan (Bruce) Sanders of Brooklyn Park; two sons: Kenneth of Crosslake and Robert (Bonnie) of West Hartford, Connecticut; four grandchildren: Heidi Sanders, Adam Sanders, Jessica Retrum, and Michael Retrum; sisters: Gladys Pederson of Benson, and Irene (Roger) Ahrndt of Benson, sister-in-law Cecil Ellingson; brother-in-law Verdie Ellingson of Moorhead and many nieces and nephews.
Ray was preceded in death by his parents, Nelvin and Magda, a baby daughter in 1946, a baby son David in 1948, a brother Irvin, a sister Norma, and several sisters and brothers-in-law. Blessed be the memory of Orrin “Ray” Retrum.
Please sign the guest book at www.zniewskifuneralhome.com .
Zniewski Funeral Home of Benson assisted the family with the arrangements.

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