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Deacon Raymond J. "Ray" Van Wassenhove

June 15, 1930 ~ March 5, 2020 (age 89)

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Obituary

KEWANEE – Deacon Raymond J. “Ray” Van Wassenhove, 89, of Kewanee, died at 11:22 p.m., Thursday, March 5, 2020 at Betty’s Garden Memory Care in Kewanee.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m., Friday, March 13 at Saint John Paul II Parish in Kewanee. Fr. Johndamaseni Zilimu, Fr. Duane Jack and Msgr. Tim Nolan will con-celebrate. Visitation will be held from 4:00-6:30 p.m. with recitation of the Rosary at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 12 at Rux Funeral Home in Kewanee. Burial will be in Mt. Olivet Cemetery where military rites will be accorded by the Kewanee Veterans Council. Memorials may be directed to Saint John Paul II Parish or to the Knights of Columbus.

He was born June 15, 1930 in Kewanee, the son of Raymond and Marie (Vereecke) Van Wassenhove. He married Sally Graham on December 15, 1951 in Kewanee. Survivors include his wife of Kewanee, his seven children; Brian Van Wassenhove of Kewanee, Marie (Mike) Olynciw of Floral Park, NY, Mary Kay (Mike) Daley of New Smyrna Beach, FL, Joseph (Caren) Van Wassenhove of Poughkeepsie, NY, Carrie (Marty) Shelby of Largo, FL and Elizabeth (Eric) Wolf and Paul (Maureen) Van Wassenhove, both of Kewanee, his sister, Mary Anne Sullivan of Kewanee, thirteen grandchildren; Luke, Elodie, Graham, Gerard, Jenny, Peter, Nicholas, Leanna, August, Owen, Dylan, Kevin and Gregory, seven great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and step-mother, Madeline.

Ray graduated from Kewanee High School in 1948 and attended St. Ambrose University. He served his country in the U.S. Army in the 101st Airborne Division. He was the Vice President of Marketing for the corporate offices of JC Penney in New York and had worked as a cabinet maker and custom designer for Ast Cabinet Shop in Kewanee. He was a member of Saint John Paul II Parish and the Knights of Columbus where he was a 4th Degree Knight. He enjoyed painting, singing, woodworking and playing cards.

He was ordained in October of 1977 in the first class of Deacons ordained for the Brooklyn Queens Diocese of New York and served as Deacon at St. Nicholas of Tolentine in Flushing, NY until 1989 and at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Kewanee from 1990 until 2005. His ministries included marriage preparation and enrichment seminars, Deacon Council, Bible study, RCIA, visiting the sick and homebound, assisting at the homeless shelter, director of watch weekends and assisting with Pre-Cana and Cursillo.

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Services

Visitation
Thursday
March 12, 2020

4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Rux Funeral Homes
507 S. Chestnut St.
Kewanee, IL 61443

Recitation of the Rosary
Thursday
March 12, 2020

4:00 PM
Rux Funeral Homes
507 S. Chestnut St.
Kewanee, IL 61443

Mass of Christian Burial
Friday
March 13, 2020

10:00 AM
Saint John Paul II Parish
406 W. Central Blvd.
Kewanee, IL 61443

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