Raymond George Knaffle, 91, passed away peacefully on November 22, 2020 at McLaren Hospital in Petoskey. Ray was born, at home, on July 25, 1929 to John and Minnie (Carlson) Knaffle of Cheboygan, the second oldest of six children. Ray grew up on his family farm where his daily chore was milking the cows. After graduating from Cheboygan High School in 1946, he went to work at Inverness Dairy. Between 1951 and 1953, he served in the U.S. Army. When he returned home, he went back to work at Inverness Dairy delivering milk from house to house. In May of 1960, he started working at Charmin/Procter & Gamble where he would retire from in December of 1987. Ray was not afraid of hard work and often had many side jobs including laying carpet and lending a helping hand where needed. On May 2, 1953 he married the love of his life, Hazel Baller. They were happily married for 63 years and raised 3 children, Terry (Debbie) Knaffle, Debbie (Roger) Lafrinere, and Larry (Jill) Knaffle.
Ray was a man of little words, but he was devoted to his faith, hard work and his family. Ray was an active member of St. Thomas Lutheran Church where he volunteered at the Food Pantry and served on the church Council. Every month Ray could be seen in the church office helping to prepare the church newsletter.
In his free time, Ray enjoyed riding his tractor, picking rocks and spending countless hours in the woods. He had a passion for the endless job of rock picking and making large rock piles in his back field. Rain or shine, Ray loved the outdoors. He would often be found puttering in his garage, using his chainsaw, or even shoveling snow off his roof. In the summer months, he helped his sons with their tent business, Knaffle’s Tent Rental. Ray was their most dedicated and punctual employee, even at 91 years old. After a hard day's work, he enjoyed a burger and fries from the Eagles where he had been a lifetime member. For many years, Ray enjoyed the Eagles pool league with his son Larry and gathering for dinner with close family and friends.
Ray and Hazel have created an ever growing family tree with 9 grandchildren, Amber (Mike) Howard, Jason (Ashley) Knaffle, Ashley (Dustin) Mecham, Cory Knaffle, Craig (Kristen) Knaffle, Amanda (Danny) McAlister, Brady (Katie) Lafrinere, Katie (Myles) Fimbinger and Kailey Barrette, 13 great grandchildren, Emma, Colton, Eli, Kendal, Reagan, Avery, Beckett, Sebastian, Sawyer, Connor, Elliot, Mari, Owen and more on the way, two brothers, Allen and Lonnie Knaffle and two sisters, Alice (Jack) Shields and Sally (Walter) Daniels. Grandma and Grandpa have played such an important role in everyone's lives and have always been the “rock” of the family.
Ray was preceded in death by his parents, wife Hazel, brother, Robert Knaffle, sisters-in-law, Patsy Knaffle, Darlene Knaffle, Elaine Shepherd, Jean Knaffle and his brother-in-law, Arnold Shields.
A graveside service will take place Saturday, November 28 at 1:00 pm at Munro Township Cemetery with Pastor Dave Hueter officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to St. Thomas Lutheran Church.
The Nordman-Christian Funeral Home is caring for the family.
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