Rev. Raymond “Ray” Kotwicki passed away Thursday, July 7, 2016 at home. He was born in Chicago, IL, April 28, 1940 to the late Raymond Kotwicki, Sr. and Florence A. (Tade) Kotwicki. He grew up in Chicago where he was a basketball star at Fenger High School. Ray worked at R. R. Donnelly and through a mentored relationship with a special pastor, became a Christian and received his call to become a pastor.
In 1958 Ray attended Vennard College in University Park, IA where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies. While at Vennard he met and then married the love of his life, Elizabeth “Betty” Klein, June 3, 1961. He earned his Master of Divinity from Garrett Seminary at Northwestern University.
Ray’s passions included family, ministry and helping people. Ray was ordained a United Methodist pastor and served congregations for over 50 years in Erie, IA, Page, ND and many WI churches including: Caldwell/English Settlement, Salem, Kenosha, Watertown, Sheboygan, Green Bay and Reedsville. After retirement, he proudly served as Chaplain at JBS/Packerland in Green Bay. He was known for his loving and inspirational preaching, humor, compassion and leadership.
Through World Methodist Evangelism, Ray was a missionary to Africa, Australia, Fiji, Mexico and numerous locations throughout the United States. Ray was a member of First United Methodist Church and Downtown Kiwanis.
He enjoyed a good ping-pong tournament, gardening, reading, spending time with his children and grandchildren, traveling and enjoying Betty's fabulous cooking. He shared a positive, faith-filled outlook on life and truly enjoyed the art of conversation through engaging people with both his head and his heart.
Ray is survived by his children: Jane (Steve) Kresin, Green Bay, WI, Kathy (Keith) Coroneos, Suamico, WI and Dr. Raymond Kotwicki (Todd Pouwels), Atlanta, GA; his grandchildren, Jonathan Kresin (fiancée Amelie Eiding) and Hannah Coroneos; his sister, Florence (Chuck) Miller, Valparaiso, IN; his brother, Stephen (Merri) of Oak Lawn, IL; nephews, nieces, in-laws and many dear friends.
Ray was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 54 years, Elizabeth, who passed away November 27, 2015.
Ray's request for his funeral: “It would be my wish that this service be one of celebration for on this day I find myself in God’s presence and reunited with my beloved Betty.”
Visitation will be held at NEWCOMER FUNERAL HOME (340 S. Monroe Ave., Green Bay), Tuesday, July 12, 2016 from 4 to 6 PM. Visitation will continue at FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH (501 Howe St., Green Bay), Wednesday, July 13, 2016 from 10 to 11 AM. A funeral service will follow at 11 AM with Rev. David Kalas officiating. Interment will be in Nicolet Memorial Gardens.
In lieu of flowers, memorials directed to World Methodist Evangelism or Skyland Trail, where Dr. Kotwicki is Chief Medical Officer, in Rev. Ray's name are appreciated.
Rev. Ray's family would like to extend a special thank you to the staff and residents at Brookview Meadows for their care and friendship. Thank you as well to the parishioners of all of the churches where Ray served, as they became his second family.