Raphael “Ray” Feltman, 79, passed away November 6, 2019, after a three-year battle with esophageal cancer at his home in Fargo, ND.
Ray was born on October 6, 1940, in Grafton, ND, to Dominik and Josephine (Rudnik) Feltman. Ray’s first five years were spent on a farm between Minto and Warsaw. He moved to Minto at the age of 5 along with his parents and sister. He often spoke of the fact that he wasn’t able to speak English when he started school – he spoke Polish. He said he was fortunate to have a 1st grade teacher who spoke Polish so she could speak to him.
Ray graduated from Minto High School with the class of 1960 and then attended Mayville State College for one year before returning to Minto to take care of his ailing father. Sports were an important part of Ray’s life. During junior and senior high school, he played baseball, football, and basketball. At Mayville State College, he was a member of the baseball team who that year made it to the NAIA tournament held in Emporia, Kansas.
During the summer of 1960, Ray was instrumental in organizing the first Babe Ruth and Legion teams in Minto. He went on to play amateur baseball, fast pitch softball, and amateur basketball until the age of 42. He also served as Junior Varsity basketball coach for Minto High School for two years. Ray was a very avid sports fan from supporting local high school teams to following the Twins, Gophers, and Vikings. In 2009, the Minto-Midway baseball team presented him with a plague naming him “Minto’s #1 fan”. Ray’s encouraging cheers for all players could be heard at every game he attended.
After leaving college, Ray was employed by Bargain Barn and the State Highway Department. Ray was united in marriage to Jennette Uggerud on October 22, 1966 in Minto, ND. In 1967, he began a 35-year employment as the city water superintendent for the City of Minto, retiring in the fall of 2002. One highlight of his career included being named “Operator of the Year” by the North Dakota Department of Health.
Ray’s faith was strong and continued throughout his entire life. Ray was baptized at St. Stanislaus Church in Warsaw. As a member of Sacred Heart Church of Minto, Ray was involved in many facets of church life, including serving as an altar server, Extra Ordinary Minister of Holy Communion, Junior High catechist, and member of the Sacred Heart choir. In addition, Ray also worked with the God’s Gift Appeal.
Ray is survived by his wife of 53 years, Jennette (Uggerud); son, Fr. Thomas Feltman, of Fargo; daughter, Rebecca (Chad) Knudson of West Fargo; and two grandchildren, Ben and Rachel Knudson. He is also survived by brother-in law, Jim Schanilec of Minto; and sisters-in-law, Bev (Pete) Schiefelbein of Mapleton, and Marlene (Ron) Rasmussen of Ellendale. He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Louise Schanilec.
Mass of Christian Burial will be Monday, November 11, 2019 at 10:00 AM at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church of Minto. Visitation will be Sunday from 5-7 PM, followed by a vigil service at 7:00 PM at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church of Minto. Friends may call at the church on Monday for one hour prior to the service. Interment will be at the Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery of Minto.