Raymond “Racer Ray” Nelson Sr., 68, Woodstock, died Wednesday, May 8, with his family by his side, after a courageous battle with cancer.
He was born May 8, 1945, in Harvard to Raymond and Lena (John) Nelson. He grew up farming, lived in the country and attended Hebron High School.
On April 24, 1964, he married Caroline Dorwaldt in Hebron.
He was a certified GM mechanic and worked at Ferris Bros. for many years before working at Motor Service Company, both in Harvard. He was a well-known engine builder.
He enjoyed drag and stock car racing and restoring classic cars, including his prized 1957 Chevy.
Most recently, he was the engine builder for the Roush Brothers championship race car at Rockford Speedway. He was a proud member of the Kroozers of Northern Illinoiz Car Club and enjoyed participating in many car shows and traveling in his Chevy.
After retirement, he enjoyed watching over his grandchildren every day, helping other farmers and loved the company of the animals on his farm. Most of all, he enjoyed spending time with his family and closest friends.
Survivors include his wife; three daughters, Donna (Ray) Raupp, Karen (Eddie) Harrison and Carol (Tony Mills) Nelson; a son, Raymond Nelson Jr.; three grandchildren, Eddie Harrison, Kailey Harrison, and Deborah Lena Quist; a brother, John (Sue) Nelson; a foster son, Mike (Donna) Dowell; nieces; and a nephew.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Visitation was May 14 and 15 at Schneider-Leucht-Merwin & Cooney Funeral Home, Woodstock. The funeral was May 15 at the funeral home.
Burial followed at McHenry County Memorial Park, Woodstock.