Raymond SchotanusFebruary 6, 1928 ~ September 17, 2017 (age 89)
FITCHBURG -- Raymond Schotanus, 89, died on Sunday, September 17, 2017, at Fitchburg Healthcare in Fitchburg after a brief struggle with cancer. Ray, the son of Bert and Sadie Schotanus (from The Netherlands), was born in Whitinsville, MA on February 6, 1928, where he spent his early years and graduated in from Northbridge High School, in Northbridge, MA in 1947. After two years of military service during the Korean War, he married Joyce Ann Norman in 1953 and moved to Fitchburg, MA.
Following high school, Ray worked for the Stop & Shop Corporation and for Foster Healey Real Estate in Fitchburg until retirement. His indomitable work ethic prompted him to continue working part time for Chapdelaines in Lunenburg until he retired again in 2016. His love of people left a legacy of friendships throughout the city. Ray is a longtime member of Highland Baptist Church of Fitchburg where he was active in many different ministries of the church. In his later years, he had a big heart for those in need in the city and demonstrated this love by working in Highland Baptist’s Food Pantry Ministry. He continued this service until a few months ago.
Ray's deep faith in God and love for people--especially his family--compelled him to live generously and graciously toward others. He loved working in his garden, sharing the fruit of his labor, and laughing and chatting with his many friends. Every summer for many decades, he especially enjoyed spending time with dear friends at Camp Wellville in Ashburnham, MA. Being with family and friends was most important to him. He will be greatly missed by all who loved him.
He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Joyce (Norman) Schotanus of Fitchburg; a sister, Bertha Pappas, and her husband, George, of Auburn, MA; a son, Thom Schotanus and his wife, Ellen, of Cameroon, Africa; a daughter, Tammy Schutt and her husband, David, of Lunenburg, MA; and a daughter, Tracy Schotanus of Lunenburg, MA. He had a close relationship with his wife’s family, Roger Barber and his wife June of Fitchburg, MA; Paul Norman and his wife Jean, of Ashburnham, MA; and Eunice Halbedel and her husband, Brian, of Rindge, NH. He was blessed with four grandchildren, Justin Schotanus, Greenfield, MA; Benjamin Schotanus of Gardner, MA; Hannah Hess of Mechanicsburg, PA; Heidi Varberg of Shoreview, MN; four great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. Ray and his wife welcomed others as family members, including Kathy Pierce and Suzan Elwell, and many foster children whose lives he enriched. He is predeceased by his two brothers, Thomas Schotanus and Harold Schotanus.
The funeral service with military honors will be held at the Highland Baptist Church, 19 Cedar Street, Fitchburg, MA on Sunday, September 24th at 2PM, followed by a reception at the church. The burial service will be private and held at a later date. Memorial contributions, in lieu of flowers, may be made in his memory to the HIghland Baptist Food Pantry Ministry, 19 Cedar Street, Fitchburg, MA 01420.
Bosk Funeral Home of Fitchburg assisted the family with arrangements.