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Duluth, Minn. - Raymond George Volaski Jr, age 73 of Ironwood, passed away unexpectedly on August 12, 2020
Ray was born on April 30, 1947, in Ontonagon, Michigan, son of Raymond and Aileen (Kieranen) Volaski Sr. He graduated in 1965 from Ewen High School. Shortly after he graduated, he was hired as an apprentice at Hegg Plumbing and Heating in Ontonagon, where he learned many skills of the trade which would later develop into a career in the industry. He also worked for Turpeinen Brothers in Alston, Michigan, where he painted semi-trucks and trailers and was a member of the Teamsters Union, working on construction and as a heavy equipment operator. Eventually, he entered into a partnership with Doug Anderson and started a business known as Midway Heating, which was based out of Ray’s family home in Bruce Crossing, MI.
In May of 1983, Ray married his wife, Colleen, and ventured out to become his own independent contractor. He founded Volaski Heating and Excavating in Ironwood. The talents he was blessed with and the various skills he acquired along the way were always shared and put to work to help others, going above and beyond to provide the most affordable service and repairs to fit the individual needs of his customers and earning him much respect in the industry. His genuine, optimistic, and gentle demeanor allowed him to cultivate many lasting friendships and loyal customers throughout his life and career. Ray respected and treated everyone as his top priority.
Ray was always ready for anything. There was nothing he couldn’t repair, nor was there any job too big for him to tackle. He did it all, seamlessly and joyfully. He had compassion for others and would always offer his time for anything that needed to be done, just to help someone out; even if it was making time to sit and visit with those who were alone.
Ray loved people and truly enjoyed his journey in his profession. When asked when he was going to retire, he would reply with a smile, “When you see my name in the newspaper, you’ll know that I retired.”
In summary, his life closely modeled a saying that was once said, “Unless a man undertakes more than he possibly can do, he will never do all that he can.” Ray will be greatly missed and will forever hold a place in the hearts of all that knew him.
He was preceded in death by parents, Raymond and Aileen (Kieranen) Volaski Sr.; brothers-in-law, James Kinonen and Mark Bunjevac; along with several uncles, aunts, and cousins.
Survived by his loving wife of 37 years, Colleen; daughters, Megan of Hancock, Michigan and Kaylan of Marenisco, Michigan; step-daughters, Leslie (John) Lemieux and grandchildren, Lincoln and Jackson of Menasha Wisconsin and Lisa Grimsby and grandchildren, Angeline, Michael, and Madelyn Witta of Saxon, Wisconsin; sisters, Barbara (Walt) Swafford and Charlotte Kinonen of Bend, Oregon; father-and mother-in-law, John and Patricia Bunjevac of Ironwood, Michigan; and sister-in-law, Cheryl (Jeff) Johnson of Ham Lake, Minnesota.
A special thank you to all of the emergency responders and medical personnel that came to his aid during this difficult time, as well as all the support that was given by the staff and pastor, Mike, at McKevitt-Patrick Funeral home. The professionalism and kindness that was provided to our family were greatly appreciated and will be always remembered.
A private Celebration of Life will be held for family and friends.
The family has chosen McKevitt-Patrick Funeral Home of Ironwood to honor Raymond’s legacy of life. You can leave a condolence or a tribute at mckevittpatrickfuneralhome.com.