Obituary of Raymond Gary Merila
Raymond Gary Merila, 87, of Cloquet passed away on Saturday, June 3, 2023 in Cloquet. Raymond was born on July 7, 1935 in Washburn, WI to Toivo and Geneva Merila. He was raised and attended school on the Finn Settlement in Washburn, Wisconsin. Raymond married the love of his life, Barbara Cahill, on October 20, 1955 in Bayfield, Wisconsin.
Raymond’s first job was at the age of 14 working for a truck farmer, Herb Zeilsdorf, earning ten cents an hour and a noon meal for weeding, hoeing and planting. His second job was working on a local mink farm. In 1954 Raymond moved to Duluth and lived in the YMCA while his fiancé, Barbara, lived in the YWCA. In 1955 they moved to Lakeside, then settled in Morgan Park where they resided the rest of their lives together. For 34 years Raymond worked at Elliot’s Meal Packing Co. He invested his money wisely and owned real estate starting with 40 garages, then a dozen houses. His family kidded him that he was buying property like a game of Monopoly. Raymond was a member of United Protestant Church where he spent years volunteering doing maintenance and lawn care. He was known as Ringer Ray Horseshoe Champion by friends and family. He enjoyed remodeling houses, racecar driving, travelling and visiting some favorite places: Hawaii, California, Montana, Washington DC, New York and the Field of Dreams.
He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Barbara Mae Merila; son, Scott Merila; daughter, Lynn Merila; parents, Toivo and Geneva Merila; sisters, Delores Gordon, Dorothy Eliason, Kathy Johnson, Alma McEwen; brothers, Richard, George and Jack.
Raymond is survived by his son, Gary (Marybeth) Merila; daughters, Laurie Merila, Karen (Kenny) Lee Donald; sister, Nancy (Lowell) Swensen; grandchildren, Jaime (Doug) Baklund, Jake Merila, Eric Merila, Kristy Kay (Marc) Olson, Jesse Merila, Desa (Jake) Rothers, Arrow Merila, Pati Jo (Daniel) LeSarge, Crystal (Andy) Leal; and great-grandchildren, Axel, Jax, Cooper, Piper, Lumi, Inara, Christian and Cameron.
Special thanks to the staff at New perspectives and St. Croix Hospice.
In lieu of flowers, please send memorials to United Protestant Church, 803 88th Ave W, Duluth, MN 55808.
Visitation: 10:00 am until the funeral begins at 11:00 am on Monday, June 12, 2023, followed by a luncheon at United Protestant Church, 830 88th Ave W, Duluth. Burial will be in Greenwood Cemetery in Bayfield, WI. Arrangements entrusted to Atkins-Northland Funeral Home, 801 14th Street, Cloquet, MN. To sign the guest book and leave an online tribute, see www.atkinsnorthlandfuneralhome.com.To plant a beautiful memorial tree in memory of Raymond Merila, please visit our Tree Store