(12-27-21) Long-time Coldwater business owner Ray Wenning has passed away at the age of 99.

Ray and his wife Mary founded Ray’s Refrigeration in 1946 and owned Ray’s Dairyland for 24 years.


Raymond Joseph Wenning, 99 of Coldwater, peacefully passed away surrounded by his family on December 24, 2021. Christmas Eve was known to be his favorite day of the year.

He was born on December 21, 1922, to Leo and Rose (Kahlig) Wenning. Ray is survived by his bride of 74 years, Mary (Reier) Wenning, daughter of William and Josephine (Heyne) Reier of Coldwater.

Among Ray’s many accomplishments, he took the most pride in his family of 16. He and Mary’s children include: Ronald (Rebecca) Wenning, John (Diane) Wenning, Michael (Cindy) Wenning, Steven Wenning, Joan (Kevin) Gilliland, Teresa (Jack) Waite, Rose (Chris) Post, Martha (Mark) Brannon, Patti (Duane) Depweg and Paul (Amy) Wenning, all of Coldwater; James (Mary) Wenning of Ft. Recovery; Daniel (Carol) Wenning of Celina; Jerome (Cathy) Wenning of Carthagena; Jean (Tom) Heckler of Centerville; Marge (Michael) Christopher of Phoenix, Arizona; and daughter-in-law, Florence (Robert) Wenning of Springboro. Ray is preceded in death by his oldest son Robert and infant grandchildren.

Ray has two surviving sisters: Lillian Fullenkamp and Alvera Bruns and was preceded in death by his other siblings: Irene Bender, Dorothy Knapke, Cletus Wenning and brothers-in-law Ed Bender, Albert Knapke, Rosemary Wenning, Wilfred Fullenkamp, and Wilfred Bruns as well as in-laws Ralph and Betty Lange, Zeno and Julie Brackman, and Wilbert and Sally Westgerdes.

Leaving school at an early age, Ray began his lifelong passion of farming, only to be interrupted by his service in WWII. Ray stepped foot on the European battlefields shortly after D-Day and participated in some of the key battles that ended that war, to include the Battle of the Bulge. Leaving at the rank of First Sergeant, he was also decorated with the Purple Heart for injuries he sustained.

Returning home, he soon married his love, Mary, and began an adventure that added 16 children, and have been blessed with 60 grandchildren and 85 great grandchildren (and counting!).

Ray and Mary founded Ray’s Refrigeration in 1946 and owned Ray’s Dairyland for 24 years. He was a lifetime member of the Knights of Columbus, the American Legion Post 470, the VFW and Kiwanis. Even when trying to slow down, you could often find him on a tractor or driving through Mercer County while “road farming.”

Ray believed in being a lifelong learner and modeled that for his kids and grandkids by earning his GED at age 68. He and Mary enjoyed frequent travel, reading, and he had been known to take things apart just to understand how they worked.

His greatest joy was always his family and was happiest when they had the opportunity to get together, typically for the summer hog roast, and most importantly, Christmas Eve.

Funeral services will begin at 10:30 am on December 29, 2021 at Holy Trinity Catholic church in Coldwater. Burial will follow with full military honors at Saint Elizabeth Cemetery, Coldwater, Ohio. Viewing will be at Holy Trinity Church from 2 until 8 pm on Tuesday, December 28th and at the Hoge3nkamp Funeral Home in Coldwater from 9 to 10 am on Wednesday. In lieu of flowers or gifts, please consider contributions to Everheart Hospice of Coldwater or Wreaths Across American in honor of fellow deceased service men and women, available at wreathsacrossamerica.org.

Hogenkamp Funeral Home, Coldwater is honored to care for Ray and his family. To pay your respects online, visit http://www.hogenkampfh.com.