Where Food, Drinks & Stories Are Shared

Raymond Rushlow

November 13, 1928 - December 26, 2023
Kalamazoo, MI


Life Story Celebration

Friday, December 29, 2023
5:00 PM to 7:00 PM EST
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
Kalamazoo Location
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
(269) 375-2900

Where food, drinks, and stories will be shared.

Driving Directions


Saturday, December 30, 2023
10:00 AM EST
Holy Family Chapel at Nazareth Center
2929 Nazareth Rd
Kalamazoo, MI 49048


Saturday, December 30, 2023
10:30 AM EST
Holy Family Chapel at Nazareth Center
2929 Nazareth Rd
Kalamazoo, MI 49048


Tuesday, January 2, 2024
12:00 PM EST
Michigan Memorial Park Cemetery
32163 Huron River Dr
Flat Rock, MI 48134


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Sisters of St. Joseph
2929 Nazareth Rd.
Kalamazoo, MI 49048
Web Site


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Taylor's Florist and Gifts
215 E. Michigan Ave.
Paw Paw, MI 49079
(269) 657-6256
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


Raymond Peter Rushlow was born in Ecorse, Michigan on November 13, 1928 amidst the challenges of the Great Depression and World War II. The eleventh and youngest child of Ernest and Mabel (Roberts) Rushlow, Raymond’s early years were marked by resilience and perseverance. His parents worked tirelessly to navigate the tough times to ensure a decent life for their large family. The family faced a significant loss when Raymond’s mother, a compassionate midwife involved in charity work, succumbed to cancer during Ray’s teenage years. This devasting loss was probably the hardest obstacle in life Dad would have to face. Raymond’s father, Ernest spent his working days at Pennsylvania Salt Company.

Attending school was difficult because his family moved frequently. Raymond endured seven different schools. With no family car, he walked to school each day alongside his sisters, Shirley and Ethel. Raymond left school at a young age to begin working part-time jobs, showcasing an early commitment to supporting his loved ones.

Their first stable home was on Clark Street in Wyandotte. Raymond was fortunate to have good friends, caring neighbors, and a loving family. Childhood memories were filled with games of marbles, baseball, and roller skating. He especially enjoyed the companionship of his dog, Teddy. When he was an adult, he and his brothers strengthened their bond through a shared passion for bowling, culminating in winning a league championship. The team was comprised solely of Ray and his brothers!

Raymond’s first job was at Schrader Brothers where he worked on a press making tables and chairs. He later began his 35-year career with Wyandotte Chemicals (BASF) as a pipe coverer In 1983, where he won an award for never missing a day of work. Quite a work ethic. By most people standards, he should have been in the Guinness Book of World Records! One of Raymond’s prior coworkers convinced him to apply for a job at Detroit Edison. It was quite a step up for Dad and he did not think he could do it. It was a risk for him to leave a secure company. He had to take several tests, one being an algebra test. He studied diligently with his daughter Nancy. He passed the test, got the job, and successfully worked another 9 years at Detroit Edison until he retired. His dedication earned him the respect and friendship of his colleagues.

Raymond met his wife, Joyce Margaret Kauffman, at a roller rink in River Rouge. He had gum on his skate and Joyce was kind enough to stop and help him. By the next Valentine’s Day, the couple was happily engaged. On July 5, 1947, Raymond and Joyce married at St. Patrick’s Church in Wyandotte. Joyce was 21 and Ray was just 18 years old. Their honeymoon at The Breakers Hotel at Cedar Point was a perfect way to begin their lifelong love story.

Soon after, they moved into their first apartment on Cherry Street in Wyandotte. Later, they moved into the home of Joyce’s parents and eventually to a one bedroom converted garage in Ecorse that became their home. Here, they were blessed with two children, Janet and Pamela. The home had a wood stove and there was no bathtub or shower. Water had to be boiled for hot water and washing up was done in the kitchen sink! Raymond and Joyce tackled these early years and challenges together, all the while making certain their home was full of love and warmth.

Before long, they purchased a house at 1282 10th Street in Wyandotte. From 1949-1964, their family grew to include five children: Janet, Pamela, Nancy, Brian, and Colleen, whom they raised in the small two bedroom, one bathroom home. When the fifth child arrived, it was time for Ray to assist in building another bedroom on the second floor. Ray lost his wife, Joyce, in August of 2003. Raymond then moved to a condo in Holt, and then finally to Kalamazoo. He was able to live alone for a long time, with some help in the last couple of years, until his passing.

The love he had for his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren is felt by all.

Children and babies brought a smile to his face, which would make him light up. He loved holding them and making them laugh. He ended his conversation with them by saying “Pipi loves you!”

Over the years, Raymond enjoyed bowling, canasta, euchre, horseshoes, and jigsaw puzzles. He loved looking at old picture books and talking with others about his memories. Playing the harmonica was a true talent of his, and he often entertained at family gatherings. Even in his later years, Raymond retained his passion for cars, capturing each one he owned in photographs. Big band music was his favorite. He would play it so loud at times, we would have to say, “Dad, could you please turn that down a little?!”

Raymond was a builder of things. He constructed Christmas stables and flower boxes for each of his children. He was known as “Mr. Fix It.” Family and friends would bring a hopeless, broken object to him. Somehow, Raymond could figure out just the right way to magically bring it back to life. He was also known as a perfectionist. If you were working alongside him, you knew it!

Family and marriage were the cornerstones of Raymond’s life. He found success in the simple joys of having a fulfilling job, a loving wife, and a cherished family to share both the perfect and imperfect moments. As Raymond’s family grew to include 10 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren, his pride in providing a secure home life for them remained unwavering. The love shared by both Raymond and Joyce has left an indelible mark on those who knew them. Raymond’s desire is to be remembered as a nice father and grandpa. May he and Joyce rest in peace and may their reunion in Heaven be as delightful and glorious as their time with us.

Ray was preceded in death by his loving wife, Joyce Rushlow (Kauffman), all ten brothers and sisters, his Mom and Dad, and Frank Frayer. Ray is survived by Janet Frayer, Pam Kingston (George), Nancy Schultz (Ron), Brian Rushlow (Debbie) and Colleen Lambert (Rob).

Please join us for a Life Story Celebration on Friday, December 29 from 5-7 PM at Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900 where food, drinks, and stories will be shared. Mass will be celebrated Saturday, December 30, at 10:30 AM at Holy Family Chapel at Nazareth, 2929 Nazareth Road, Kalamazoo, with visitation beginning at 10 AM. Burial at Michigan Memorial Park Cemetery in Flat Rock on Tuesday, January 2 at 12 PM. Visit Raymond’s webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, photos, or sign his guestbook.