Raymond A. Broz

Feb. 27, 1936 – Nov. 15, 2021


Raymond Arnold Broz was born in Crete on Feb. 27, 1936, to Arnold and Edna (Mundt) Broz.

He was full of energy and loved to tease the kitties in the barn. He was mischievous and would often get into trouble with his mother for climbing on sheds. Ray was a natural-born farmer. As the chore boy, he came home immediately after school to care for the livestock. By the time he was 10, he was working in the fields with machinery. Ray remained passionate about farming and caring for livestock and continued to work even on his last day when he put his beloved cattle out on stalks. He often shared the details of his day with his daughter; one of his favorite comments was that each piece of land was like a child to him that he had carefully tended through life. He was a conservationist and often pointed out the evidence that God was truly our creator. Farming was a way of life to him, not a job. In 2018, Ray was proud to accept the award for the farm being in the family for 100 years. 

Ray’s faith guided him throughout his life. Baptized into God’s grace on March 10, 1936, by Pastor Schreier, the Holy Spirit welcomed him into God’s family. On May 30, 1948, Ray was confirmed in the Lutheran faith and became a member of the Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Crete. Ray is still a member and served many years as an elder of the church. Many of Ray’s values were based on his religious upbringing. He passed those on to his children and grandchildren.

Ray completed his education through the eighth grade at the country school just a short walk from his house. He then graduated high school at Wilber Public Schools in 1954. Ray was a member of the Future Farmers of America and was awarded the State Degree. In January 1959, Ray was drafted into the army. He served for nine months and returned home when his father, Arnold, had a farming accident in September. Ray continued to serve his country in the army reserves until January 1965. Ray was 30 when his daughter, Angela, was born. She tagged along with him doing chores and keeping him company. In October of 1970, Brian was a new addition to the family.

The family hauled many bales together and moved cattle from farm to farm on horses. Ray passed on the value of hard work that he learned from his mother. He taught his family that work can be fun and goes faster if you all work together. He also shared that it is an honor to be asked to help your neighbor. Ray was always willing to lend a helping hand. Ray enjoyed music and was a member of the Wilber-Clatonia Czech Alumni band. He played the trumpet and marched at Czech Days until 2017. He played the tuba in the Happy Czechs band directed by his wife, Helen. He was awarded the Knights of Blanic Award in 2017 for his contribution to community service. Raymond passed away Monday, Nov. 15, 2021, with his family by his side.

He enjoyed his marriage to Helen (Prokop) Odvody, since Nov. 3, 2013. His daughter, Angela Rimel, and her three children, Kathleen (Clint) Damme, Connor (fiancée Haydyn Weise) O’Toole, and Kaylee Rimel, will miss him greatly. His great-granddaughter, Halle Ray, inherited his beautiful blue eyes. Ray’s son, Brian (Shelly) Broz, has two sons, Lukas and Brice. He had four stepchildren, Marvin (Xuan) Odvody, Judy (Brian) Florian, Ernie (Michelle) Odvody and Perry Odvody. Ray’s sister, Joy Ann Dearing, was his best friend throughout his life. He will also be missed by his nephew, James (Judy) Beasley, and niece, Renee (Tom) Higginbotham, and numerous grand-nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, Arnold and Edna Broz; brother-in-law, John Dearing; niece, Sherry Wall; and great-niece, Tara Gunnells.

The funeral service was Nov. 19 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Crete. Condolences may be left for the family online at www.kunclfh.com.