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Raymond Gerszewski, 71, of West Fargo and formerly of Mayville, passed away after a 4-year battle with thyroid cancer on Friday, Feb. 5, 2021, at Sanford Fargo Hospice House surrounded by his family.
Born Oct. 5, 1949, in Grand Forks to Frank and Mary Gerszewski, Ray grew up on the family farm near Ardoch, North Dakota, with his sister and three brothers. He balanced responsibilities there with his education at a one-room schoolhouse and, eventually, public school high school. Ray graduated from Oslo (Minnesota) High School in 1967.
Ray earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of North Dakota in 1971, the same year he was drafted into the U.S. Army. He trained as a medic and spent 14 months in Okinawa, Japan. Ray married Alana Engebretson on Dec. 29, 1973. The two educators worked at public schools before Ray returned to graduate school to complete his doctorate in counseling; he took a position with Mayville State University in 1983.
Mayville State became a second home to the Gerszewski family during Ray’s more than 32-year career with the college. Ray relished his roles in student services and became one of the college’s most respected administrators. He paired a dependable work ethic with his mild manners to help guide Mayville State through transition and growth. But mostly, Ray prioritized the students. He was bestowed the title of vice president emeritus for student affairs upon his retirement in 2015.
Though Ray was deeply dedicated to his work, it was never at the expense of his family. He showed up to every game and activity and logged thousands of miles to be there as his sons reached personal, educational and professional milestones.
Ray is survived by his wife, Alana, and four sons and their families: Steve, Kelsey, and their sons, Nolan, Briggs and Porter, of Frazee, Minnesota; Charlie, Kelly, and their daughter, Grace, and son, Grant, of Tomball, Texas; Tim of Sioux Falls, South Dakota; and Kevin of Denver, Colorado. He is also survived by his brothers, John (Mary) Gerszewski of Oslo, Minnesota; and Matt (Pat) Gerszewski of Minot, North Dakota; a sister-in-law, RuthAnn Gerszewski of Grand Forks, North Dakota; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Mary Gerszewski; sister, Trudy Gerszewski; and brother, Joseph Gerszewski.
Memorials are preferred to the Gerszewski Family Scholarship at Mayville State via the MSU Foundation or the Potocki-Lupski Syndrome Foundation via ptlsfoundation.org.
Due to Covid Restrictions, Ray Gerszewski's funeral will be broadcasted locally live on MIDCO Channel 3 on Saturday February 13th at 1pm.
Masks are required.
Visitation: Will be one hour prior to the service at the church.
Funeral Service: Will be held at 1:00 PM Saturday, February 13, 2021 at the Mayville Lutheran Church in Mayville, ND.
Military Honors: May~Port Honor Guard and the North Dakota Military Funeral Honors.
Burial: Will be in Fargo National Cemetery in rural Harwood, ND.
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