Raymond “Grandpa Ray” Loven, a resident of Swanville, passed away Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013, at St. Otto’s Care Center in Little Falls.
Funeral Services were held Thursday, Feb. 14, at the Swanville Bible Church in Swanville with the Rev. David Packo officiating. Burial was at Springbrook Cemetery in Swanville.
Ray was born in Minneapolis, Feb. 22, 1917, to John and Ellen (Salley) Loven. The family moved to Swanville when Ray was a young boy. Ray attended school at rural School District 79 through the eightth grade, then one year at Upsala High School. In 1933 while living in St. Paul, he learned the trade of mechanics and welding at Dunwoody Institute. Because he failed a military physical due to a childhood illness, Ray felt that he could best serve his country by welding on battleships being built in the Seattle, Wash. shipyards, so he relocated to Seattle in 1941. While in Seattle, Ray summoned and found work and housing for approximately 30 of his relatives and friends from Minnesota. On May 2, 1942, Ray married Delila (Dee) Johnson. Dee was “the love of his life.” Royal was born in 1945 while in Seattle. In 1946, Ray, Dee and Royal returned to Minnesota where Ray along with his brothers, started “Loven Brothers,” a gas station, auto and body repair shop. In 1947, they celebrated the birth of Amber and together raised their family in Swanville. In 1952, Ray purchased the brothers’ shares and renamed the company “Loven’s Service.” Ray owned and operated the business until 1983, when he sold it to his son, Royal. Ray and Dee together enjoyed 69 years of marriage during which they loved to travel, eat out, dance and enjoyed spending time with their family. Ray loved the town of Swanville, and served on the Swanville Village Council, was a fireman, was a member of the Sportsman’s Club and the SnoDrifter’s Club, but the thing that brought him much pride was the Lions Club. He was a charter member of this successful group, where he was highly honored for his years of service and perfect attendance. Two years ago, he was honored at the Swanville Carnival with a day named “Ray Loven Day” and again last year had the park building named in his honor. Gramps loved his family. He loved tradition and often spent hours teaching his kids and grandchildren about life. He was a great storyteller and often had a moral to the stories he told. He loved to take his grandkids to The Sunwood Inn, deer hunting with handmade bows and arrows, and canoe/camping trips where it “never rained on the river.” He was the eternal optimist and found the best in all people he was around. He loved life and often described himself as the “happiest man on earth.”
Left to mourn Ray’s loss is his son, Royal Loven; daughter, Amber Brown; grandchildren, Kyle (Kari) Loven, Jay (Heidi) Loven, Michelle (Doug) Dahlberg, Stephanie (Rob) Fritz and Matthew (Anne) Brown; 13 great-grandchildren; many nieces, nephews, friends and Lions Club Members.
Ray was preceded in death by his wife, Delila; daughter-in-law, Sandee Loven; son-in-law, Charles Brown; siblings, June Boerger, John Loven, Ed Loven, Earl Loven and Harold Loven. Pallbearers were Kyle Loven, Jay Loven, Matthew Brown, Doug Dahlberg, Rob Fritz and Jim Loven.
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