On March 15, 2023, while resting peacefully, surrounded by his family and listening to his album, Raymond Gutterud, Jr., 71, was called to his Heavenly home, at Lilac Homes Memory Care in Moorhead, MN.
Raymond was born September 15, 1951, in Langdon, North Dakota, to Raymond and Evelyn (Novacek) Gutterud. He was raised and educated in North and South Dakota, graduating Roncalli High School 1969. He began his music career in his high school years. He attended college at the University of North Dakota and went onto helping his Uncle James on the Novacek family farm.
Raymond loved music. It became his most loved career, one that showcased his artistic talents of piano and voice for more than a decade as a one-man band entertainer, recording an album in 1982.
In the fall of 1968, Raymond met his soulmate, Karen Nygard. They married on November 9, 1972. He was a devoted husband and father. He and Karen welcomed into their world, Theresa Sack, Susan (Jason) Groves, and Christopher (Andrea) Gutterud. His grandchildren, Stephanie (John) Johnson, Remi Sack, CJ Sack, and Kloe Sack; Kyle (Courtney) Gietzen, Brittany Gietzen, and Aaron Groves; Ava, Anthony, and Tyler, were very important to him. He loved being a Grandpa, he was so good at it! Raymond was also blessed with six great-grandchildren, Gabriel, Silas, Abigail, Lily, Carter, and Henry.
In the fall of 1991, Raymond began his semi-truck driving career, driving for a local company in North Dakota. It wasn’t long until Karen joined him in the truck. They drove for Werner Enterprises, Omaha NE, before going independent with Landstar, Jacksonville, FL, as owner-operators. Together, they drove 7.6 million miles over 18+ years of ‘vacationing while being paid’ and visiting much of their family around the country.
Due to health reasons and to be centrally located within their families, Raymond and Karen moved to West Fargo. In his grandson, Aaron’s words, he became a best friend, mentor, buddy and grandpa to him. In 2014, Raymond battled cancer, and won. In 2019, he was diagnosed with dementia. As his memory declined, he continued to recognize his family with a smile and a “Hi!”.
Raymond will be greatly missed by his sister, Linda (George) Linz, brother, Steve, aunts, uncles, many nieces and nephews, cousins, sisters-in-law, and brothers-in-law. He was preceded in death by his parents, his best friend and second father, James Novacek, his friend, Don Ziegler, his grandparents, several aunts, uncles, and cousins.
We are forever thankful for the caregivers at Lilac Homes who took such good care of Ray!
Memorial Service: Sunday, March 26, 2023, at 2 p.m., at West Funeral Home, West Fargo, N.D. with visitation one hour before the service.
West Funeral Home & Life Tribute Center
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