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Raymond B. "Ray" Nicolai Sr.

Raymond B. "Ray" Nicolai Sr.

Raymond B. "Ray" Nicolai Sr., age 97 of Hampton, died peacefully on Sunday morning, August 26, 2018, at Regina Senior Living in Hastings, just two days short of his 98th birthday. Ray was blessed by having constant support from his many family members and friends.

Raymond B. Sr., the son of John and Appolonia (Haan) Nicolai, was born on August 28, 1920, in Hampton. Following his education, Ray began his life-long career in farming, and remained in Hampton until his move to Hastings in 2016. On June 6, 1944, Ray was united in marriage to Marianne Niebur at St. Mathias Catholic Church in Hampton. They were blessed with seven children, 25 grandchildren, 33 great grandchildren, and seventy years of marriage prior to her passing on April 28, 2014.

Outside of raising his family and farming, Ray enjoyed being actively involved in many organizations that helped support the health and growth of his community. Some of the involvements include: being a life-long member of St. Mathias Catholic Church, FESBA Development Group that brought many homes to Hampton, being a member of Catholic Aide, Minnesota Pork Producers, longtime President of MN Duroc Breeders Association, one of the founding members of the Hampton Boosters, Dakota County 4-H, secretary and agent for Dakota County Mutual and Dakota/Stanton Mutual Insurance, and was a longtime Board member of Dakota Electric Association. In 1997, Ray was inducted into the Minnesota Livestock Hall of Fame because of his involvement with the Minnesota Pork Producers Association.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Marianne; siblings, Herbert, Harry, John C., Mark, and Agatha; and by his granddaughter, Ann Marie Nicolai.

Ray is survived by his children, Leo (Joyce) Nicolai, Judie (Mike) O'Gara, Jerry (Peggy) Nicolai, Ray Nicolai Jr., Randy (Teri) Nicolai, John (Lynn) Nicolai, and Julie (Mark) Peine; twenty-five grandchildren, Lori Nicolai, Lisa (Jason) Swanson, Mary Nicolai, Luke (Dana) Nicolai, Andy (Courtney)Nicolai, Tony Nicolai, Mick O'Gara, Tara (Chris) Riba, Tom (Marie)O'Gara, Anne O'Gara (friend, Kevin Lewsader), Racquel (Dean) Smith, Erica (Cameron) Berg, Gina (Bryce) Otte; Caryn (Dave) Riley, Brian (Sandy) Nicolai, Josh (Ashlee) Nicolai, Kent (Holly) Nicolai, Jennifer (Derrick) Taylor, Matthew Nicolai, Nicole (Nathan) Berg, Brittany Nicolai (friend, Callin Mullaney), Jason (Megan) Brecount, Nicole (Robert) Talmich, Jena (Mike) Bjertness, and Amanda Peine; 33 great grandchildren plus one more due in September; siblings, Stella "Dixie" Niebur and Daniel (LaVonne) Nicolai; brother and sisters-in-law, Alvera Niebur, Bernice Endres, and Louis Momchilovich; and by many nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held 10:30 a.m. Saturday, September 1, 2018, at St. Mathias Catholic Church in Hampton, with Father Michael Tix officiating. Following the Mass, Ray will be laid to rest next to his wife Marianne at the parish cemetery. Immediately following, all are invited to a reception in the church basement.

Family and friends are cordially invited to a visitation from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. Friday evening at Caturia, Smidt & Starkson Funeral Home & Crematory of Hastings, and also from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning at church.

In place of flowers, Ray's family kindly asks memorials be directed to St. Mathias Catholic Church in his honor.

For guestbook and further information, please visit

Arrangements are being completed by Caturia, Smidt & Starkson Funeral Home & Crematory of Hastings.