Life Story / Obituary
With a life that spanned times of war and times of peace, times of plenty and times of want, Raymond Dzendzel made the most of the days he was given. He was a longtime resident of the community he loved, and he spent much of his life serving those who lived there. A loving family man, Ray was a devoted husband and father whose greatest source of pride and joy was found in the family that grew to include grandchildren and great-grandchildren as well. Although life will never be the same without Ray here, he leaves behind a timeless legacy that his loved ones will proudly carry on in his footsteps.
It was great to be an American during the decade that we commonly recall as the Roaring Twenties. Innovation was leading the way to new technology that brought us things like radios, washing machines, and motion pictures in both color and sound. Broadway was at its all time peak, and thanks to legends like Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb, baseball became America’s favorite pastime. The lives of John and Georgianna Dzendzel were changed with the birth of their 2nd of 16 children when Raymond was born on July 29, 1921. He was followed by his siblings, Burdett, Raymond, Fredrick, Margaret, Dorothy, Betty, Ruth Ann, Edward, Robert, Georgianna, Suzann, Gertrude, David, Marylou, and Vicky. Raymond lived in Brightmoor until his family moved to Southfield, Michigan, when he was 10 years old. To support their family, his father worked as a laborer while his mother had more than enough to keep her busy at home. As a student, Ray attended local schools and went on to graduate from Redford High School. From there he went on to earn his B.A. degree from Detroit Institute of Technology.
New and exciting changes were in store for Ray when he met the young woman of his dreams. Her name was Eleanor Borland, and they were introduced by her parents and sister. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together Ray and Eleanor were married on June 21, 1947, marking the beginning of a new chapter in a love story that would span nearly 50 years. Together they welcomed four daughters including Sandra, Judith, Cheryl, and Lee Ann into their hearts and home.
Throughout his life, Ray was known for his strong work ethic. He served in the United States Coast Guard in WW II aboard the U.S.S. Peoria. With his military duties fulfilled, Raymond was honorably discharged. He then served as a business representative for Carpenter's Local 982, and in 1954 he was elected to State House of Representatives Speaker of the House. From there, Raymond was elected to State Senate, serving from 1958 through 1970. During much of that time he was also Senate Majority Leader. Honorable and just, Raymond was well respected by everyone who knew him.
There was never anything of greater significance in Ray’s life than his family. In addition to his children, he was later filled with great joy to welcome 10 grandchildren, Alycia, Candice, Amanda, Nicole, Bethany, Mary, Jessica, Timmy, Emily and the late Matthew and 12 great-grandchildren, Dylan, Gage, Henry, Ella, George, Madeline, Ryan, Tara, Kali, Shayla, Matthew and Haly Jo into the family. Ray loved all holiday gatherings and looked forward to their annual Addie Goode family reunion as well as their monthly "Aunt's Dinner.” On May 14, 1997, he was deeply saddened with the death of his beloved wife.
As his family and friends can attest, Ray was one to keep busy. He was a member of the Masons, VFW Wolverine Post 171, and Shriner Redford Lions Club. Ray was also on the Botsford Hospital Board of Directors for 30 years. Ray particularly loved spending summer days at his cottage on Island Lake. When it came to relaxing, he enjoyed watching the Detroit Tigers and western television shows.
With unending loved and devotion to his family, his friends, and his community, Raymond Dzendzel made a significant impact in the world around him. He was someone who worked hard, but he also took the time to have some fun along the way. Called “Super Ray” by those who knew him best, he was kind, giving, and simply amazing in so many ways. Deeply loved, he will be forever missed.
Dzendzel, Raymond, May 1, 2018. Beloved husband of the late Eleanor. Loving father of Sandra (Tom) Krause, Judith Telfer, Cheryl (John) Sprader and Lee Ann (Tim) Krause. Dearest grandfather of 10 and great-grandfather of 12. Visitation Friday 2-8 and Funeral Service Saturday, 11 a.m. at Neely-Turowski Funeral Home 30200 Five Mile (Between Middle Belt and Merriman). Interment White Chapel Cemetery. You may share a memory, upload a photo and sign the guestbook at www.TurowskiFuneralHome.com