Raymond William Venzke, 86, died May 29, 2019 at The Bird House-Hospice Home in Iowa City with family in attendance. A Celebration of Life Service will be held on Sunday, June 9, 2019, at 2:00 PM at Peterseim Funeral Home in Kalona. A time for fellowship will follow the service until 5:00 PM at the funeral home. Private family burial will be held at St. John's Lutheran Cemetery.
Raymond William Venzke, son of William and Helen (Eimen) Venzke, was born Feb. 11, 1933, near Frytown, Iowa. Ray graduated from Kalona High School and earned a B.S. degree from Iowa State University, where he was a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and Gamma Sigma Delta Honor Society of Agriculture. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1955-1957. He was a long-time employee of Moorman Mfg. Co., and also worked as a realtor and manager of his family's farm. He was active in 4H, the Iowa City Coin Club, and was a charter member of the Washington Township Optimist Club.
Ray married Kathy Donham in 1962 in Iowa City. They built their home near Frytown, Iowa, where they raised three daughters. They moved to Iowa City in 2008. Ray held a lifelong love for nature and enjoyed fishing, hunting, and restoring several acres of prairie. He was an avid collector of coins, stamps, and antiques. He and Kathy also ran a small business selling antiques, prairie plants, and flowers. He loved to travel, covering thousands of miles across the U.S. and Canada on annual family road trips to visit National Parks and other scenic and historic sites.
His family includes his wife Kathy; daughters Julia Venzke (partner Jamie Ward) of Cedar Rapids, Kristina Venzke (husband Jeff Hermiston) of West Liberty, and Debra Venzke (husband Brett Cloyd) of Iowa City; grandchildren Benjamin and Ruth Cloyd; brother Dale Venzke (wife Judy) of Washington, Iowa; sister Janet Pierce (husband Gale) of Cedar Rapids; in-laws Kelley and Jean Donham; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
The family would like to express their gratitude to Iowa City Hospice, Mercy Hospital Hospice Care, and The Bird House for their compassionate care. To share a memory or condolence, please visit peterseimfuneralhome.com. In lieu of flowers, memorials made be made to The Bird House-Hospice Home of Johnson County and Iowa City Hospice.