Raymond Alva Paulson was born on December 4, 1929, to Bernt O. and Kirsta (Sjoberg) Paulson and grew up on the family farm in Crosby, ND. He was a 1948 Valedictorian graduate of Crosby High School where he played football and served as vice president and secretary of his class, as well as yearbook editor. He went on to the University of North Dakota where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Education. In 1952, before graduating, he enlisted in the United States Air Force, was stationed in Spokane, WA and served in Korea until his honorable discharge in April, 1956.
On December 26,1952, Ray married his best friend and high school sweetheart, Katheryn Ellen McNeal. Tragically, he was widowed after his wife passed away in a car accident in May 1975.
Ray’s teaching career began in Clearbrook, MN and later in Bagley, MN. In 1958, he began his 29 year-long career at Rugby High School in Rugby, ND as a Mathematics and Building Trades teacher. As a teacher, he not only taught academics, he also promoted a sense of integrity and commitment that provided his students with essential life-long skills and helped them to excel.
Favorite pastimes included fishing, especially his fishing trips to Canada with the guys, photography, skiing, and building. He built homes with the precision you would expect from a perfectionistic math teacher. Never quickly, but always to perfection.
In December 1992, Ray suffered a stroke that left him paralyzed on his right side. This did not stop him from accomplishing his house building/carpentry dreams. His perseverance (aka stubbornness) and ingenuity served him well. His chosen quote (by French novelist Honoré de Balzac) for his high school graduation served him well throughout his life, “All human power is a compound of time and patience.”
Ray enjoyed traveling and in 2010 he fulfilled a lifelong dream when he and his four daughters visited his parent’s homeland of Norway.
Raymond passed away on Friday, September 16, 2022, at Bethany on the Lake in Alexandria at the age of 92. He is survived by his four daughters: Karen (Merlin) Thykeson, Hayden, ID; Dianne (Jay) Heath, Oak Grove, MN; Donna (Bill) Buckner, Alexandria, MN; and Renae Paulson, Fargo, ND; four grandchildren, Aaron Thykeson. Jessica Trygstad, Steven Buckner, and Abbigayle Benjamin; and five great grandchildren, Osten, Anders, Oline, and Arvid Trygstad, and James Gordon; nieces, Rosalie Randall, Marian Cinimo, Roberta Hahn, Clair Evans, and Frances Swett.
Ray was preceded in death by his wife, parents, and siblings, Alf Paulson, Betsy Beer, Arvid Paulson, and Helen Hahn, granddaughter, Christina Buckner, and nephew, Raymond Beer.
The family would like to thank the staff at Pelican Bay for the special thoughtfulness and care they provided their father throughout his stay.
A memorial service will be held at Shalom Lutheran Church in Alexandria, MN on Thursday, September 29, 2022 at 11:00 am with visitation one hour prior to the memorial service. Interment will be held at Concordia Lutheran Cemetery in Crosby, ND.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Shalom Lutheran Church, First Lutheran in Rugby, ND, Concordia Lutheran in Crosby, ND, Habitat for Humanity, or Salvation Army.