Randy Raymond Ries (July 24, 1961 - November 20, 2023)
After a brave battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Randy R. Ries, 62, of Sheboygan, was set free surrounded by his loving family at home on November 20, 2023.
He was born in Sheboygan on July 24, 1961 to Russell R. and Carol F. (Schultz) Ries. He was the oldest of three children. He attended Immaculate Conception and St. Dominic Catholic Schools and graduated from Sheboygan North High School in 1979 before beginning his lifelong career at The Vollrath Company.
Randy’s life changed forever when he met his bride, Jayne Marie Bertram. The love they shared was beyond measure and apparent to everyone who came in contact with them. The two were married on July 16,1983 at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Sheboygan.
Randy and Jayne have two daughters, Abigail “Abby” Marie and Katherine “Kate” Frances. Throughout his life, Randy’s three girls meant the world to him and were the center of his universe. They shared many amazing memories together including family vacations to their favorite place in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, their family home fondly referred to as ‘The Camp’.
Though he loved his daughters, no one could have anticipated the overwhelming adoration and pride he felt for his six grandchildren. He loved spending quality time with them and spoiling them with attention.
Randy was an extremely loyal and hardworking employee of The Vollrath Company where he worked for 44 years. He was respected by his coworkers and seen as a leader amongst them during his time with the company. Even after his career was cut short by ALS, he was sought out for assistance when issues arose in his absence due to his vast knowledge.
Randy was extremely proud to have achieved Eagle Scout rank at the young age of 15, the highest achievement within the Boy Scouts of America organization. He especially enjoyed Boy Scout Camp in the summer with his dad.
When he wasn’t working or spending time with his family, Randy loved to travel with Jayne. They enjoyed taking cruises to many tropical locations as well as taking road trips to the western states and visiting numerous National Parks. He particularly loved Colorado. They also made several trips to the island of Bonaire where Jayne spent eight years living as a child. He and Jayne took their entire family on a two-week long vacation to Bonaire in August of this year to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary. Randy also loved participating in outdoor activities and took several fishing trips to Canada. He enjoyed working with his hands and was considered a ‘jack of all trades’. In his spare time, he was an avid reader.
In February of this year, Randy received the devastating diagnosis of ALS. While his disease progression was extremely aggressive, Randy fought with all of his strength and bravery. He told everyone he came in contact with that he was choosing to ‘Live like a tortoise, and not like a hare’ as he navigated ALS. During this journey, he took it one day at a time and enjoyed life to the absolute fullest of his capabilities.
Randy will be remembered as the most amazing family man. His entire life was devoted to taking care of his girls as well as the rest of his family and ‘inner circle’. He put those closest to him ahead of himself all of the time and leaves behind a legacy of love and strength. He will be deeply missed by everyone whose life he touched. He was truly one of a kind.
Randy is survived by his mother Carol F. Watson, stepfather Lyle E. Watson, wife of 40 years, Jayne Ries, children, Abby (Chris) Helminiak, Kate (Tony) Knapton, grandchildren, Sloane, Miles, and Hadley Helminiak and Josephine, Bennett, and Ames Knapton, sister Kristine (Jaymo) Crnovrsanin, brothers-in-law Erik (Maria) Bertram of Tomball, TX, Matt Hafenbreadl of Las Vegas, NV, sister-in-law Julie Mims of Winder, GA, many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews as well as many close friends. Randy was preceded in death by his father, Russell, his sister, Wendy Hafenbreadl, his mother- and father in-law, Carolyn W. & Bruce M. Bertram.
A Memorial Service will be held in Randy’s honor on Wednesday November 22, 2023 at 3:00pm at St. Peter Lutheran Church located at 2104 Geele Avenue in Sheboygan, with Pastor Kristin Berglund officiating. Relatives and friends may visit with the family on Wednesday, November 22, 2023 from 1:00 pm until the time of service at the CHURCH.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Wisconsin Chapter of the ALS Association, www.ALS.org/wisconsin/donate in Randy’s name.
Randy’s family would like to extend heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Michael Johnson and Theresa for their kind, compassionate care. They would also like to thank the team at the ALS Interdisciplinary Clinic at Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee, and Randy’s hospice team for their diligent care, especially his nurse, Tabitha.
“Grief is the last act of love we have to give to those we loved.
Where there is deep grief there was great love.” – unknown
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