Raymond Steve Kautzman, 86, longtime resident of New Salem, passed away peacefully Jan. 30, 2019, at his home in Mandan after a short battle with cancer.
Mass of Christian burial was held Feb. 4 at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Mandan with the Rev. Jarad Wolf as celebrant. Burial was at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery, Mandan.
Steve was born Oct. 27, 1932, to Emil and Margaret (Miller) Kautzman. He was raised on the family farm and was educated in Judson. He joined the United States Army in 1953. He was en route to the Korean War when the armistice was signed in July 1953. He was fond of telling people that the communists gave up because they heard he was coming. Upon his return, he married Ida Kopp, Dec. 30, 1957, in St. Gertrude. They made their home in Mandan before moving to New Salem in 1968.
Steve drove a gas transport for the better part of four decades. When asked why he chose truck driving for a living, his response was, “If you are in a truck all day, you don’t have to listen to anyone.” He was an avid sports fan and quite the baseball player in his own right. He spoke glowingly of the time he hit a home run in Jamestown. After the game, on the ride back to Judson, he was sure the ball was still going up; it was hit that well. Steve held a special spot in his heart for two places, his couch and the New Salem golf course. He spent many summers trying to master the game of golf (and keep the cart running). He constantly tinkered with his grip and stance in relentless pursuit of the perfect round. He did things his way and made no apologies for it. He was an honest man, full of faith, and he will be deeply missed by those who knew him well.
Steve is survived by his loving wife of 61 years, Ida; his children, Brad (Darlene), Bismarck, Cheryl (Nick) Kraft, Mandan, Gerald (Mary), Mandan, and Keith (Jodi), Mandan; brothers, Ed (Geri) Bismarck, Jim (Pat), New Salem, Ben, Lisbon; sisters, Minnie, Colorado, Eleanor, California, and Peggy, Colorado; sister-in-law, Virginia Kautzman, Mandan; his grandchildren, Cody and Kayle Kautzman, Tandra (Doug Preskey), Terry and Tom (Amy) Kraft, Courtney, Zach and Emily Kautzman, and Kennedi and Quincy Kautzman; one great-grandchild, Keegan Kautzman; his sisters-in-law, Rosie Hersch, Ann Collingwood and Joni Christopherson; and his brothers-in-law, Bruce Scharmer and Jim Gerhardt.
Steve was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Jack, David and Kenneth; his sister, Clara Ferderer; one grandson, Casey Kautzman; his in-laws, Mark and Billie Klein, Vi Scharmer, Linda Klein, Joe Hersch, Norm Collingwood, Chris and Leona Gerhardt, Vicki Gerhardt, David and Alice Utter, Renee Powers, Les Kopp, Otto Kopp, Albin Kopp and Don Christopherson.
Go to www.weigelfuneral.com to sign the online guest book and share memories with his family.