Ramon “Ray” F. Sohn, age 74, of Westfield, died on Friday, November 14, 2008 at Divine Savior Hospital in Portage, WI. Ray was born in Dubuque, IA on December 27, 1933, to Fred and Gerda (Sommerfeld) Sohn, both of whom preceded him in death. He grew up mostly in the Westfield area, living for a short time in the New London area. He lived on a Springfield Township farm and a Newton Township farm, before moving to Westfield. He graduated from the Westfield High School in 1952. He then attended the University of Wisconsin and thereafter was drafted into the Army. He served in the occupation of Germany. His unit, the 32nd Engineers, serviced an atomic cannon of huge size when machined parts were needed. After leaving the Army, he worked for R. R. Sommerfeld as a gas truck driver, and later bought the company, then called Sohn Oil Company. After selling the oil company, he went into a partnership of the downtown Westfield Village Inn Supper Club thru the 1970’s. Ray was an avid outdoorsman. During his lifetime he was active in hunting, fishing, scuba diving, trapping and most things pertaining to the great outdoors. In 1967 he won the Wisconsin Spear Fishing Championship snorkel diving for rough fish at Green Lake. In August and September of 1974, he hunted with outfitter Dennis Harms in Alaska. His trophies were a 7 foot grizzly bear, dall sheep, mountain goat, a caribou that scored 390 points in B & C, and a 60 inch moose. In August 1997 he fished the Yukon River from Tanana, AK with Alex-Lone Wolf Guide Service with his son, Dave, who accompanied him on the northern pike and shee fish fishing expedition. Ray’s biggest northern pike on that trip was 51 ¾ inches long and weighed 35 lbs. He caught many northerns from Lake Superior that were 20 lbs and over. Ray and his wife Eileen, loved to garden. Together they entered the organic gardening contest of Rodales magazine, and won first place in region 9, which included the breadbasket states and two Canadian Provinces. After the Village Inn, he became owner of Sohn’s Forest Mushrooms, and continued for 15 years until retirement. During these years Ray and his wife sold spawn and did research on the Oriental Shiitake and the native oyster mushrooms.
Ray left behind his beloved wife, Eileen “Ikey” and five children, Diane Giese, AZ, Dave (Sheri), CO, Steve, Green Lake, Rita, DeForest and Paula Sohn, McFarland; plus two step-children, Sheryl (Reage) Buchanan, Westfield and Jeffrey Kemnitz, Westfield. He had five grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.
A funeral service for Ray will be held on Monday, November 17, 2008 at 2:00 p.m. at Steinhaus-Holly Funeral Home, Westfield with Vicar Ron Riemer officiating. Interment will be in Westfield East Cemetery with full military honors. A visitation will be held on Monday from 12:00 p.m. until the hour of service at the funeral home. Steinhaus-Holly Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Westfield is serving the family. Online obituaries and condolences at www.steinhaushollyfuneralhome.com
Something Ray always remembered reading and associated with was from Aldo Leopold’s writings “There are people who can live without wild things, I for one could not.”