Raymond “Ray” Anton Barnhardt, 64, passed away surrounded by his beloved family Feb. 5, 2018, at Sanford Hospital in Fargo.
A celebration of Ray’s life will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, at Trinity Lutheran Church, Steele, with The Rev. Jacob DeBoer officiating.
Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at Trinity Lutheran Church, Steele, where a prayer service will begin at 7 p.m. Visitation will continue one hour prior to the service at the church.
He was born Aug. 24, 1953, to George and Josephine (Fix) Barnhardt in Mandan. Ray met the love of his life, Peggy Schumacher, while working at Melroe in Bismarck, where she was also employed. They married June 4, 1977, in Napoleon. Together they had two children, Jonathan and Heather.
Ray enjoyed just about everything in life, especially spending time with his two grandchildren, Trent and Statler. He was an honest, hard-working man that never ceased to be a provider to his family. Ray enjoyed a good joke more than anyone, and could usually be found among a circle of people telling one after another. His hearty laugh filled a stadium and warmed your heart.
Ray was a heavy equipment operator for BNI Coal in Center until 1991, when the family moved to their farmstead in Steele, where he ran a farming operation and founded RB Manufacturing and Sales. He was fastidious in his fabrication and manufacturing of steel cattle handling equipment. He was recognized throughout the region for his well-built products and customers always wondered how he got it so "perfect." He spent more than 20 years as a volunteer firefighter for the Steele Fire Department and loved helping others.
Ray was a modest man who didn't care much for material things. He cared deeply for those he loved and had a hard time saying no to anyone. He and Trent had a very special bond and spent time fishing, hunting, and spending time outdoors. Playing and laughing with Trent and Statler was his favorite pastime. He wasn’t afraid to lay down on the floor and build stuff with them. It would be hard to find a better role model, father, or grandfather than Ray. Those who knew him well will miss him deeply.
Ray is survived by his wife, Peggy; his children, Jonathan (J.R.) Barnhardt, Bismarck, and Heather Messer, Mandan; his grandchildren, Trent and Statler Messer, Mandan; sister, Tillie Thompson, Underwood; brother, Don (Kathy) Barnhardt, Mandan; sister-in-law, Frankie (Roger) Kaiser, Mandan; brother-in-law, Ken (Carole) Schumacher, Goodyear, Ariz.; and many nieces and nephews. Ray also missed meeting his newest grandson who will arrive in April.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and two sisters, Dorothy Wetsch and Pauline Baker.
Go to www.eastgatefuneral.com to share memories of Ray and sign the online guest book. (Eastgate Funeral Service, Bismarck)