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Raymond Michael Sigl

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Raymond Michael Sigl, 92, Bismarck, formerly of Richardton, danced his way into Heaven on Saturday, July 31, 2021. Ray’s Mass of Christian Burial was held on Monday August 9, 2021 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Richardton with Fr. Thomas Wordekemper, OSB as celebrant. Interment took place at St. Mary’s Cemetery.

Ray was born on a small, simple farm southwest of Gladstone on May 6, 1929. In 1942, Ray’s parents and siblings relocated to their new homestead north of Richardton where eventually Ray would farm, ranch, and raise his own family.

As a child, Ray took great pride in being the oldest brother and looking out for his younger siblings. He grew up a determined, young boy with a mighty spirit. He was motivated by all of life’s challenges. He loved to run, race and ride horse. He even tried snow-skiing down a local butte on oak barrel slats. He eagerly took on farm tasks fit for a man twice his age. His father, Pete, hampered by health problems, recognized his son’s dependable and hardworking character, and subsequently, entrusted him with much of the farm duties and responsibilities. As a 10-year-old, he was tasked with hitching and guiding a horse-drawn sleigh that carried his younger siblings through deep snowbanks to their county school three miles from home.

Ray married Dorothy Lampl in 1953. At that time, Ray bought the family farm; his parents and remaining siblings moved to Billings, Mont. Dorothy worked as a nurse at the Richardton Memorial Hospital and they raised seven children together, four boys first and three girls following. Ray had always wanted a balance of children; however, Dorothy decided that if they were to have a #8, Ray would be responsible for “carrying” the child. This ended that conversation. Ray was always quick to praise Dorothy for being a good nurse, mother, grandmother, cook and bowler.

Ray was passionate about his vocation as a farmer and rancher. He especially enjoyed his cattle; they weren’t just a way to make a living, they were his hobby. He shared his love with his sons and with his friends and acquaintances at the local cattle sales ring in Dickinson. He left an impression on most everyone he met with his contagious smile, the sparkle in his eyes, his cheery outlook, and his positive “can-do” attitude. Ray was very spontaneous and always on a mission. When he wasn’t busy farming and ranching, he attended his children and grandchildren’s sporting events, involved with Knights of Columbus, managing the local cemetery, playing pinochle with friends and family, checking out an auction sale, shopping for a car deal, visiting and gambling at Prairie Knights Casino, or tracking down any venue with polka music so he could dance. He sang with the St. Mary’s Church choir, never left home without a polka tune resonating from his vehicle, and always enthusiastically volunteered to lead a heart-felt “Happy Birthday” for friends and family. He thoroughly believed it was imperative to break out in song on a joyous occasion.

Every amazing story is borne out of some tragedy and Ray’s story was no exception. Ray and Dorothy lost their two boys, Dan and Jim at 17 and 16 years of age in an auto accident. Ray also lost his daughter, Diane to cancer, his oldest son, Ray Jr. and wife Dorothy on their 60th wedding anniversary in 2013. Despite Ray’s loss of loved ones, he continued to wake up whistling most every morning. He lived life like a polkafest, with a song in his heart and a skip in his step. His strength, determination, resilience, hard work, play and love of people and life was his secret to life well lived. He applied and shared the gifts God provided him. Well done good and faithful servant.

Ray is survived by children, Jerry (Adele) Sigl, St. Regis, Mont., Annette (Greg) Link, Bismarck and Julie (Kelly) Wetzel, Minot; daughter-in-law, Carol Sigl, Richardton; son-in-law, Greg Schlosser, Bismarck; grandchildren, Jeremy (Heidi) Sigl, Jon (Tonya) Sigl, James Sigl, Kelsey (Jan Zwoch) Sigl, Michael Sigl, Jen (Scott) Schmidt, Melissa (Junaid) Rather, Eric (Rhya) Roper, Christine Roper, Deondra (Corey) Bruner, Jordan (Jenny) Thilmony, Kasey (Scott) Janz, Savannah (Dan) Sederquist, Sierra (Brendan Skime) Link, Samara Link, Taylor Wetzel, and Jayden (Megan) Wetzel; 24 great-grandchildren; and sisters, Hilda (Nick) Frank and Juanita (Bill) Zaputil.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy; sons, Ray Jr., Dan and Jim; daughter, Diane; parents, Peter and Sophia Sigl; sisters, Marie (Larry) Richardson, Viola (Max) Silbernagel, Carol (Alex) Hoffert; and brothers, Walt (Virginia) Sigl and Don (Jeanne) Sigl. Arrangements are with Ladbury Funeral Service, Dickinson, www.ladburyfuneralservice.com.

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