Ray J. Hochhalter
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Ray J. Hochhalter, age 74, of Yankton, South Dakota, died Sunday, September 21, 2014, at Avera Sacred Heart Hospital in Yankton.

A memorial service will be 10:30 AM on Friday, September 26, 2014, at the Wintz & Ray Funeral Home in Yankton, South Dakota with Monsignor Carlton Hermann officiating. Military honors will be provided by the Ernest-Bowyer VFW Post No. 791, Yankton, South Dakota and the South Dakota Army National Guard. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the memorial service on Friday.

Honorary pallbearers are Ray's grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Ray Hochhalter was born September 3, 1940 in Yankton, South Dakota, to Leonard and Gertrude (Ament) Hochhalter. Ray grew up in Yankton and attended school in Yankton graduating from Yankton High School in 1959. He then started working construction, helping build the interstate in South Dakota. He joined the Army National Guard and served during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He married Iris Sheldon on November 9, 1963 in Yankton. He began working at Kolberg Pioneer in 1965 and began as a welder. He then moved up through the company to a supervisor of the shoe department, then into the sales department, and finally as the traffic manager until retiring in 2009.

Ray was involved in Youth Baseball and the Sack Pack Program in Yankton. He also became a storm chaser and was a past board member of the South Dakota Truckers Association. Ray enjoyed traveling, hunting, shooting skeet, and riding in his jeeps and woodworking. Ray built all of the furniture in their home and was one of Santa's elves for many children in Yankton, building them cradles or cars for Christmas. Ray was a gentle man who loved his grandchildren and great grandchildren and had a soft spot in his heart for children in need. Ray loved his wife and family and was loved by everyone he met. He was truly a hero in the eyes of his family.

Survivors include his wife, Iris of Yankton; two sons: Tony (Renee) Hochhalter of Yankton and Jeff (Kristina) Kopejtka of Yankton; 10 grandchildren; nine great grandchildren; brother, Arnold Hochhalter of Minneapolis, Minnesota and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Leonard Jr. and Allen; and sister, Shirley Elkins.

Messages will be reviewed and posted within 1 business day.

Iris and Tony,

you will be in my thoughts and prayers. Ray was more than just a boss and supervisor-he was also a good friend. He will be missed by many.

Cindy Grohs

Dear Cousin Iris,

So very sorry to hear about Ray. Our thoughts and prayers for you and the entire family. Please accept our sincere condolences. Love you.

Howard & Kim Griffiths

Dear Iris and family--

So sorry for the loss of Ray. Our special thoughts and prayers are with you all. Iris, call anytime you need to talk..Love you

Mike and Alice Litterick

I have no words to tell you how I feel with Ray's passing. I grew up with all of you, as extended family, and I feel like part of my family is no longer with us. My heart tells me Ray is in a better place, but selfishly, I wish Ray was still with us. A few memories... playing football & kill the carrier in your yard (& Cotton's), Ray's green Jeep CJ was my alarm clock, when I was in school (this was a good thing!), Ray heading out to watch for tornadoes, splitting wood, cutting wood, having a Coke at your house, Tony letting me tag along for a "Dew" when I was a punk kid (probably irritating him!). You are part of my extended family, and part of me is gone, now that Ray is, and I am hurting with you. Take care... it will take a long time to heal, but I firmly believe we get to see Ray again, and we will sit down, and have a Coke, and catch up... take care.

Chad Remington

Dear Iris and family --

Deepest sympathy to you and your family during this difficult time. You are in our thought and prayers.

Jerry & Cheryl Oster and family

We were so sorry to hear of Ray's passing he was a kind and gentle man!!!our sympathy to your family!!!!

Vi heimes

Dear Iris and family and Duane Arnie and family,

We send our sympathy to you in the loss of Ray. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this hard time and will continue to be with you. He was a "good guy" and could make just about anything he put his mind to. We remember the craft shows and all the unique items he created. God bless you with His peace, strength and comfort in the days ahead.

Lyle and Betty Reynolds

Dear Iris and family:

So sorry to hear about Ray, you and family our in our thoughts and Prayers

Jan & Gene Paetow

Our condolences to you Iris. Sara, the kids and I are keeping you and yours in our prayers. We have some fond memories of Ray. God bless.

Rev. Jacob Bobby

I was stunned to read about Ray's passing. Please except our condolences. If there is anything I can do for you let me know.

Phyllis and Larry Gleich

Iris and family,

You have our sympathy in your loss of Ray.

Loran & Kathy Tramp

To the family,

friends and former co-workers of Ray... please accept my deepest condolences for your loss. Ray was my sister-company transportation comrade and I truly enjoyed sharing and brainstorming our transportation challenges as only transportation people can comprehend. I had the pleasure of meeting him on my one-time trip to KPI. Ray gave a great tour of KPI's facility and I got a wild jeep ride to a wonderful local restaurant, where everybody knew his name. He also shared family, travel and community stories so I know he had a very blessed life. May your own memories with Ray comfort you all in this difficult time.

Best regards,

Maggie Werner, Traffic Supervisor, Telsmith Inc., Mequon, Wisconsin


was surprised to receive your phone call today letting Linda and me know of Ray's passing. Please know that you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers!

John Stene

Iris and family,

You have our sympathy for the lost of Ray.

Sharon Larson & families, Darel & Lana Willman, and Families.

Iris and family,

you have our sympathy.

Sharon Larson


so sorry for your loss. You have our sympathy and we definitely are thinking about you and your family.

George and Mary Skokan (Mary Ellen Slagle).

Sorry were unable to make his service, you and he will be in our thoughts and prayers. God Bless you at this hard time.

Darlene and Marlin Slagle

I appologize for the delay. But me and my mother are very sorry for your loss.

Randy Gleich

Dear Iris...

Sending love, prayers, and hugs to you, Dear Friend. May God keep you wrapped in His loving arms and give you eventual peace.

Corinne Taylor

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