Cover photo for Raymond Harold Gavle's Obituary
Raymond Harold Gavle Profile Photo
1935 Raymond 2024

Raymond Harold Gavle

December 9, 1935 — January 8, 2024

Albert Lea

Raymond H Gavle, 88, of Albert Lea, passed away Monday, January 8, 2024, at St. John's Lutheran Community-The Woodlands.

A memorial service for Ray will be held Saturday, January 20, 2024, 11 a.m., at Bonnerup Funeral and Cremation Services in Albert Lea with Pastor Michael Harris officiating. A visitation will take place one hour prior to the service.

Ray was born on December 9th, 1935, in Albert Lea, MN to Orice Gavle and Lillian Hjort. His father died in a car accident shortly before his 3rd birthday.

Ray attended school in Albert Lea and was in the Air Force as Air Police. While stationed in France, he met the love of his life, Pierrett Bourdot, where their first child, Dolores, was born. They were united in marriage on May 3rd, 1958 in Chalons sur Marne, France. They returned to Oklahoma where Ray was stationed. There they welcomed their first son, Paul. Their start to establish their forever home did not come without its share of bumps in the road. They moved to California to be close to Ray's family, from there to Colorado and finally set roots back in Albert Lea where Francoise and Jean-Pierre were born. They proudly raised their 4 children in Ray's grandma's house. Ray was always a hard worker, working for Turnbull Tires and retiring from Ventura Foods in 2000. Ray was proud of his military service and a lifelong member of the American Legion.

Ray and Pierrette built their life while working together at Ventura Foods and indulged in life's simple pleasures, such as grabbing a burger at the "Elbow Room", hitting the casino to test their luck, spending time among their friends and family or going for a drive on a nice day.

After retirement, Ray was often busy working alongside his close friend, Don Worke, tinkering on handyman projects for people. He often headed down to "Grandpa's Workshop" for hours at a time where he made countless birdhouses, craft projects, and precious heirlooms for his family. He was a man of habit. You could count on seeing him at his usual spot at the table doing his daily scratch-offs, visiting around town, checking his email, and finding the next best joke to share.

Ray was a man of few words, but those who knew him saw how he showed his love and support through his actions. He was involved in the community coaching youth baseball, not because one of his kids was in it, but because they needed someone to step up. He always had a joke ready to read in his pocket, grabbed the ears of the youngsters running around the house..., Ray offered help to those in need. Most importantly, Ray was immensely proud of his family. You'd always find him digging out pictures of grandkids from his wallet, or giving you the updated count of grand, great-grand, great-great grandkids- which if you haven't heard from him lately-it’s 46 kids.

Ray is survived by his wife, Pierrette; children, Dolores Gavle (Stephan), Paul (Shelly) Gavle, Fran Hedum, and JP (Nikky) Gavle; stepdaughter, Christine (Frances) Cognee; grandchildren, Matt (Janet) Peterson, Karen Peterson (Ryan), Nikki (Jamie) Johnson, Elise (Joe) Erickson, Amber Niebuhr (Shawn), Jason (Brandi) Hedum, Olivia Hedum (Darion), Alex (Maddy) Gavle, Emma Gavle (Alex) and Eric Gavle (Maddy); step grandchildren, Stephan Navarro Jr., Nash Navarro, Marshall (Katie) McCarty, Mitchell McCarty, Matthew McCarty (Emily), Sonia, Emilie, and Thibaut; 20 great-grandchildren; and 2 great-great-granddaughters; sister, Ramona (Billy) Skola; brothers, Bruce (Carmen) Stenhovden and Clarence Thompson; sister-in-law Marie-Francoise Lebas; and many nieces and nephews.

Ray was preceded in death by his parents, Orice and Lillian; brothers, Orice Jr., Thomas Thompson, and Ron Thompson; sisters, Delores and Joan Jeitz on January 4th, 2024.

The family would like to thank the staff at St. John's (The Woodlands) and St. Croix Hospice for their support.

Ray wouldn't call it goodbye, he'd say, "See you later alligator!" To that we reply "After a while crocodile!"

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

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, January 20, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Bonnerup Funeral Service - Albert Lea

2210 East Main Street, Albert Lea, MN 56007

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Memorial Service

Saturday, January 20, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

Bonnerup Funeral Service - Albert Lea

2210 East Main Street, Albert Lea, MN 56007

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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