Cover photo for Raymond Joseph Colwell's Obituary
Raymond Joseph Colwell Profile Photo

Raymond Joseph Colwell

d. August 13, 2023



Ray Colwell: A Life of Faith, Family, and Unwavering Love Ray Colwell, a pillar of faith, a devoted family man, and a beloved member of the community, passed away on August 13, 2023, at the age of 94 surrounded by his 9 children. Born on September 24, 1928, in Mason City, Iowa, Ray's life journey was a testament to resilience, love, and unwavering commitment.

Growing up during the Great Depression, Ray's early years were shaped by the values of hard work, perseverance, and compassion. He attended St. Joseph's Catholic School. Ray's pursuit of education and passion for sports led him to St. John's University, where he played football.

Ray's greatest achievement in life was his beautiful marriage to the love of his life for an incredible 72 years. He and his beloved Larrie were amazing role models for their nine children, grandchildren, and greatgrandchildren demonstrating commitment, love and joy. His dedication to family was unwavering, and he found immense joy in watching his children and grandchildren participate in sports, passing down his passion for athletics.

A man of deep Catholic faith, Ray understood the significance of a religious upbringing. He selflessly sacrificed to provide his children with a Catholic education, a gift that reflected his core values and beliefs. Faith and family were his superpowers, sources of strength that guided him through life's challenges and celebrated moments alike.

Ray's warm and welcoming way endeared him to everyone he encountered anywhere in the world. His handshake became a signature to family and friends, even to the very end, he would shake a visitor's hand with an “I love you” and you knew he meant it. He was a grateful guy, just a part of Ray's character, he is known for stopping to say a prayer of thanksgiving to God as requests or joys occur. For 35 dedicated years, Ray worked for International Harvester, demonstrating his strong work ethic and commitment to providing for his family, he had a collection of IH tractors that brought much joy to all the grandchildren that visited often in the last year since Mom passed.

Ray's love extended beyond his immediate family, reaching his beloved sister Bonnie Young, who resided in California. Despite the distance, their bond remained unbreakable, a testament to the enduring power of sibling connection. Bonnie wants us to remember to carry on and offer to our families, the great love and encouragement my brother gave always often and with a chuckle.

In addition to his numerous achievements, Ray proudly served in the US Army during the Korean War, achieving the rank of Sergeant First Class. His commitment to duty and service exemplified his dedication to his country and left him with a desire that our world become a better place.

Ray leaves behind a legacy of love, faith, and unwavering devotion to family and community. He will be greatly missed and remembered by his family, friends, and all whose lives he touched with his remarkable spirit.

He is survived by his children; Sheila Priebe (Jeff), Colleen Hooley (John), Mike Colwell (Lori Jo), Kathleen Horst (Kevin), John Colwell (Barb), Maureen Scarrella (Paul), Kevin Colwell, Tim Colwell (Ricardo), Tricia Kerr (Chris), Grandchildren: Becky Priebe Peer (Thom), Mike Priebe (Katie), Ben Hooley (Laurie), Megan Hooley Scelfo (Brian), Danielle Colwell Willlkom (Alex), Shivohn Colwell, Patrick Horst (Erin), Danny Horst (Carla), Brian Horst, Joe Colwell (Marcela), Nick Colwell(Ali), Sarah Colwell, Tim Colwell, Kevin Scarrella (Rachel), Jenny Scarrella Vos (Matt), Katey Jane Colwell, Kelley Colwell, John Colwell, Jack Kerr, Colleen Kerr, Will Kerr, Brigid Kerr.

Greatgrandchildren: Tommy Peer, Sophia Peer, Lucy Peer, Norah Priebe, Ella Hooley, Jack Hooley, Will Hooley, Nico Hooley, Cece Scelfo, Olivia Scelfo (+),Maggie Scelfo, Andrew Silber, Charlie Mae Silber, Dylan Horst, Henry Horst, Clint Horst, Sylvia Horst, Ray Horst, Marie Horst, Oscar Colwell, Olivia Colwell, Oliver Colwell, Leah Colwell, Patrick Colwell, Ben Colwell, Charlie Vos, Gracie Vos, Jase Scarrella, Iyla Scarrella, Elle Scarrella (+), Everly Scarrella

A Private Family funeral service to celebrate Ray Colwell's life will be held on August 19, 2023 at St. Michaels Church in Stillwater MN. A livestream of the service can be viewed on the church website:

In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests donations to be made to Valley Outreach, Stillwater Mn. Or St Michael’s Church Stillwater Mn. in Ray's memory. Ray's legacy lives on in the hearts of those he leaves behind. May he rest in peace.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Raymond Joseph Colwell, please visit our flower store.


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