November 21, 1952 – June 10, 2016
Raymond Andrew Burgemeister, 63, was born Nov. 21, 1952 in American Falls, ID, the fourth and last child of Louie and Erna Burgemeister.
He was born on a Friday, as were all of his siblings. His parents were married on a Friday, and he died on Friday, June 10, 2016 after a lifelong battle with heart disease starting with rheumatic fever as a child.
Ray’s life was saved after a massive heart attack 13 years ago when he was life flighted to Spokane Sacred Heart Hospital where a procedure developed by an Australian doctor was done by Dr. Icenoggle, a renowned surgeon. He continued to be under the care of cardiologist, Dr. Hill, with annual visits to Spokane. Ray had a second open heart surgery last August. He fought with determination to improve his weakened heart and was scheduled for another procedure in three weeks. He appreciated the excellent care of Pocatello Cardiology.
Ray graduated from American Falls High School in 1971. As a freshman he was the class president. His senior year he was chosen king of the Junior-Senior Ball. He was active in the wrestling program.
Ray developed a strong work ethic growing up on the farm that his grandparents homesteaded and his parents continued to expand in Pleasant Valley. He also farmed with his brothers, Tony and Ken, on their irrigated acreage. In 1974, he joined the Burgemeister Brothers’ partnership. Living and working on the farm was a good life, where he developed close ties with his family. He was proud of the high moral standards that were instilled in him as he was growing up. Family traditions included delicious home-cooked meals, butchering chickens, and making German sausage.
After retiring from farming, he was able to pursue his life-long ambition of driving trucks and operating heavy equipment by working for the Power County Highway District.
Much of his life was committed to service. This included Ducks Unlimited, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Power County Search and Rescue and the Volunteer Fire Department. His generosity was most recently evidenced through his contributions as an organ donor.
Ray enjoyed fishing, camping, hunting and playing with his motorized toys. He had fond memories of the winter retreats snowmobiling into Luther Heights Bible Camp at Lake Alturas. A favorite pastime was playing card games. When visiting his home, you could be sure there would always be a deck of cards on the table. Once the weather warmed up, Ray could be found taking meticulous care of his yard or relaxing on his front porch.
Survivors include his wife, Ronda Stroschein, whom he married May 10, 2003; daughter, Ashley (Zachary) Nielsen, and children (Harper, Sawyer, and Graesen) of Boise; son, Travis of Emmett, ID; and step-daughter, Erica Black of Boise. Ray is also survived by his sister, Beverly (David) Nelson of Twin Falls; brothers, Tony (Juanita) of American Falls, and Ken (Kris) of Pocatello; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Ray was preceded in death by his parents, Louie and Erna Burgemeister; and his wife’s parents, Ronald and Betty Stroschein.
There will be a visitation Wednesday, June 15, from 6 until 8 p.m. at Davis-Rose Mortuary in American Falls. There will also be a visitation at 10 a.m. Thursday, June 16, in the Fireside Room at St. John’s Lutheran Church in American Falls. The funeral service will follow at 11 a.m. at St. John’s, where he was a life-long member. Pastor Jon Beake will officiate. A meal will follow the service. Burial will be at 2 p.m. at the Aberdeen Cemetery.
To recognize Ray’s love of animals, donations may be given to the Pocatello Animal Shelter at 3100 Avenue of the Chiefs, Pocatello, Idaho 83204. Condolences, memories and photos may be shared at www.davisrosemortuary.com.
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