MILTON—Ray Potter 82, Milton, passed away peacefully with his family by his side, Saturday Feb. 3, 2018, at Mercy Hospital, Janesville, Wis. Ray died from complications following coronary bypass surgery.
He was born in Ottawa, Ill., on March 31, 1935, to Walter and Mildred Hamm Potter. Ray graduated from Milton Union High School in 1952. He was married to Mary Page in 1953, who predeceased him in 2010. He then married Sharon Rozelle in 2016.
After a short stint of six months working at Fisher Body, Ray began his lifelong career working for Gene Acres, which eventually became Mulder Farms. He retired from the dairy operation in 1995, but stayed on as their local land manager until the time of his death.
Ray has been a contributing farmer all his life. During his career with Mulder Farms his herds were consistently among Rock County’s top milk producers. His pioneering efforts with embryo transplantation yielded award winning herds of international proportions. He was named the winner of the Progressive Breeder Award by the National Holstein Association for 11 years running. For years he was a 4-H leader to many of us in the community, teaching young people how to raise, show and judge cattle. He made significant contributions to the local “black and white” shows and Wisconsin State Fairs.
Ray was an avid bird watcher who found and identified many North American bird species. In all he recorded 672 on his “Life List.” Running was another of his passions, whether it be a 10k or a marathon, his running career began in 1983 and his last formal race was in 2013. He ran around the world almost one and a half times, 44,285 miles in total. He completed nine marathons and over 700 organized races.
Ray is survived by his wife, Sharon; children, Kim (Linda Bessette) and Rodney (MaryAnn); stepchildren, Richard Rozelle (Brenda) and Deborah Rozelle (Link Decker); grandchildren, Nicole Johnson (Brandon), Heather Craddock (Gregory), Ryan Potter, Sean Potter, Brendan Potter and Emily Bessette; step-grandchildren, Jackson Wildes (Liz) and Bernadette Wildes; great-grandchildren, Malyki, Zyaire, Alijah and Isabella Craddock, and Layton and Arabella Johnson; and step-great-grandson, Joseph Wildes.
Memorial Services will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 9, 2018, at the MILTON UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, with Pastor Steve Scott officiating. Visitation will be held on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018, at the ALBRECHT FUNERAL HOMES & CREMATION SERVICES, Milton, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., and from 10 a.m. until the start of the services on Friday at the church. In lieu of flowers, a local memorial will be established at a later date.
Albrecht Funeral Homes & Cremation Services, Milton
828 S. Janesville St., (608) 868-2542