Raymond B. “Ray Jay” Lechner, age 88 of Jasper

Raymond B. “Ray Jay” Lechner, age 88 of Jasper, Indiana, passed away at 6:00 pm on Friday, November 17, 2023 at home surrounded by family.

Ray was born in Jasper, Indiana on July 9, 1935 to William and Josephine (Hopf) Lechner.  He married Mary Lou Durcholz on May 14, 1957 in St. Mary Catholic Church in Ireland, IN.  She preceded him in death on November 13, 2005.

Ray was a U.S. Army Veteran who served in Korea, and was a lifetime member of the VFW Post #673 and a member of the American Legion Post #147.  

He retired as a construction superintendent from Krempp Construction after 45 years of service.  He was also a farmer and master carpenter.

He was a charter member of Precious Blood Catholic Church in Jasper, and a member of their Men’s club.  He and his wife were recipients of the Simon Brute award.    

He was also a member of the Ireland Knights of Columbus, the Jasper Moose Lodge # 1175, and the Jasper German Club.

Ray was an avid softball player who played into his 70’s, was an avid golfer, and bowler for the Ireland K of C.  He and his band, “Freddie, Ray Jay and the Boys,” would play at nursing homes, the Shamrock, and other local events.  He was a fan of IU sports, the St. Louis Cardinals, and the Indianapolis Colts.  He enjoyed playing cards, especially Sheephead.  Most of all, he cherished spending time with his family, especially attending his children’s and grandchildren’s activities.  

Surviving are three sons, Kurt R. Lechner (Cindy), Jasper, Mark Lechner (Barbara), Louisville, and Gene Lechner, St. Louis, one daughter, Ann Shappard (Mike), Jasper, significant other, Fran Johnson, Jasper, seven grandchildren, four great grandchildren, and four sisters, Millie Erny, Jasper, Sister Lucille Lechner, St. Mary of the Woods, Terre Haute, Suzanne Schwenk, Jasper, and Connie Welp (Art), Jasper.

Preceding him in death besides his wife was one great granddaughter, Blair Tabler, several in-laws, and his lifelong childhood friend, Alfred “Freddie” Hopf.

A Mass of Christian Burial for Raymond Lechner will be held at 10 am on Wednesday, November 22, 2023 at Precious Blood Catholic Church in Jasper, Indiana, with burial to follow in Fairview Cemetery in Jasper.  The VFW Post #673 will conduct military graveside rites. 

A visitation will be held from 3 pm until 7 pm on Tuesday, November 21, 2023 at the Becher-Kluesner Downtown Chapel in Jasper, IN, and again from 9 am until the 10 am Mass time at Precious Blood Catholic Church on Wednesday.   The Ireland Knights of Columbus will conduct a memorial service at 6 pm on Tuesday at the funeral Home.

Memorial contributions may be made to Precious Blood Catholic Church, or a favorite charity.

Online condolences may be made at www.becherkluesner.com