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Ray Eckstein, age 93, of Paducah, KY, passed away peacefully at his home on Saturday, April 20, 2019.
Mr. Eckstein was born on February 5, 1926 to the late Raymond "Penny" Eckstein and Myra Lindner Eckstein. He achieved both a bachelor’s and law degree from Marquette University. During his second year of college, Ray met the love of his life and wife, Kay Eckstein. Ray knew it was love at first sight and often shared that Kay was the “best looking girl he had ever seen.” They were married nearly 69 years. After graduation, Ray and Kay moved to Cassville, Wisconsin, where they raised eight children. While practicing law, Ray founded Wisconsin Barge Line, a river transportation company. An entrepreneur at heart, Ray sold that company and later formed Marquette Transportation which eventually led to his family’s relocation to Paducah.
Mr. Eckstein and his wife have always had a philanthropic heart and established the Ray & Kay Eckstein Charitable Trust in 2005 to partner with charities focused on faith based initiatives, meeting human needs, providing educational endeavors, and sustaining vibrant communities in areas of specific interest. Their impact on Paducah through the charitable trust has been paramount with gifts to support the community including the Ray and Kay Eckstein Hospice Care Center, Ray and Kay Eckstein Regional Cancer Care Center, and the Ray and Kay Eckstein Heart and Vascular Institute to name a few.
Ray will be remembered by those who loved him as a sensitive, caring, and loving man. He was a true gentleman who warmly displayed compassion for others. Not only was he the "best Dad in the world," but loved and cherished his wife.
Mr. Eckstein is survived by four daughters, Joanne Eckstein DelDotto and husband, Tom, of Chattanooga, TN, Sue Homra and husband, Kim, of Paducah, Cindy Erickson Zaninovich and husband, Tomi, of Paducah, and Teresa Eckstein and husband, Dr. Clayton Potter, of Paducah; two sons, Joe Eckstein of Jacksonville, FL, and John Eckstein and wife, Loree, of Paducah; 28 grandchildren and 38 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Kay Eckstein; one daughter, Mary Kay Eckstein; one son, Randy Eckstein; his parents, and one sister, Mary M. Eckstein.
Funeral mass will be held at 12:00 p.m. on Friday, April 26, 2019, at St. Thomas More Catholic Church with Rev. Brad Whistle officiating.
Visitation will be held from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 25, 2019, at Milner & Orr Funeral Home of Paducah.
Burial will be in St. Charles Cemetery, Cassville, Wisconsin.
Expressions of sympathy may take the form of donations to: Ray and Kay Eckstein Hospice Care Center, 1530 Lone Oak Rd., Paducah, KY 42003 or The St. Charles Borromeo Cemetery, 605 E. Dewey Street, Cassville, Wisconsin 53806.
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