ESTHERVILLE - Funeral services for Raymond Blinkmann, 58, of Vass, N.C. and formerly Estherville, will be held 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013, at Estherville Lutheran Church with Pastor David Bergstrom officiating. Visitation will be 5-7 p.m. Wednesday at Henry-Olson Funeral Chapel in Estherville. Interment will be at High Lake Cemetery in rural Wallingford.
He died Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013 at his home.
Mr. Blinkmann was born on August 17, 1955 in Estherville. His future mother-in-law helped deliver him when he was born. During high school Raymond participated in musicals, choir, football, wrestling and student council. He graduated from Graettinger High School in 1973 and attended college at ILCC in Emmetsburg. During college Ray participated in body building contests and had officially held the world record for the most sit-ups in one minute in the Guinness Book of World Records for a short period of time. After college he was gainfully employed by Morrell's packing plant in Estherville and Sioux Falls, S.D. He also worked as a hobby farmer and for Estherville Sand and Gravel.
Raymond married Donna Caswell Paulson on March 14, 1981. Together they taught Sunday school at Estherville Lutheran Church and raised horses on the farm in Wallingford. He joined the Army on March 24, 1988 and retired Master Sergeant on July 20, 2013, after serving over 23 years. During his military service, he served as a parachute rigger and has earned numerous medals and commendations. His military assignments and training included Ft. Leonard Wood, Ft. Benning, Ft. Lee, Ft. Bragg, Okinawa Japan, airborne school, airdrop load inspector, free fall parachutist, jumpmaster, free fall jumpmaster and battle staff.
Mr. Blinkmann enjoyed spending time with family, tinkering with old tractors, singing in the church choir and spreading the word of the Lord.
Left to cherish his memory are his mother, Elizabeth Irene Blinkmann; brothers, Steven, Richard and Glen; sisters, Florence, Linda and Brenda; his five children, Mark, Mike, Marcia, Melissa and Daniel, along with 13 grandchildren.
He is preceded in death by his, wife, Donna Blinkmann; son, David James Blinkmann; father, Walter Blinkmann; and grandparents, Christina and Harry Vahldick.
Online condolences may be sent to www.henryolsonfuneral.com.