Raymond Gies (1932—2018)

MADAWASKA, Maine — Raymond Gies, 85, passed away peacefully on January 23, 2018, after a long illness. He will be missed dearly by his family and friends. Born on February 25, 1932, in Fairfax, SD, he was the fifth of George and Margaret (Knittle) Gies’s eight children. When he was three years old, the family moved to a farm in Herrick, SD, and he attended schools there and in the nearby town of Burke. In 1950 he enlisted in the U.S. Army, spending two and a half years stationed in Austria. Although he was honorably discharged from the Army in 1953, within six months he had re-enlisted in the military, this time in the U.S. Air Force, where he would spend the rest of his military career as an aircraft mechanic and crew chief, retiring after a total of twenty-four and a half years with the rank of Tech Sargent.

Within a month of being stationed at Loring Air Force Base in January 1959, he met Sylvia Paradis at a dance in Frenchville, and they were married in the summer of 1960. Together they raised three children and were stationed at military bases around the country, including California and Michigan. Raymond also spent time overseas, first in Korea and later in Thailand during the Vietnam Conflict. After his retirement from the military in 1972, he and Sylvia bought and ran Gies General Store in New Sweden for a number of years. After selling the store in 1988, they moved to Madawaska Lake, during which time he worked at Loring Air Force Base as a civilian and spent many hours exploring the local woods on his beloved cross-country skis. After more than a dozen years living at the lake, they moved to an apartment in Madawaska where they lived for several years before moving to a local health care facility.

Raymond was very active in many retired military organizations. He was a lifetime member of both the VFW and the Knights of Columbus in Caribou. He was also an active member of the American Legion in Stockholm, where he held many titles, including Seventeenth District Commander.

He is survived by his three loving children, Kerstin (Pulliam) of Fort Kent, Mark and his wife, Beth, of Sudbury, MA, and Russell and his girlfriend, Lisa, of Lancaster, MA; four grandchildren, Wanda, Alexandra, Helen, and Joey; his brother, Marvin and his wife, Carole, of Gregory, SD; his sister, Margaret Baker and her husband, Glenn, of Fairfax, SD; and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.

A mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Saturday, February 24, 2018, at St. Thomas Aquinas Church. Family and friends may call at Lajoie Funeral Home, Madawaska, from 6-8 p.m. on Friday, February 23, and from 9:00-9:45 a.m. on Saturday before the service. Interment will be held at a later date at the Northern Maine Veterans Cemetery in Caribou. Expressions of sympathy may be made in memory of Raymond to the Alzheimer’s Association. For online condolences, please visit

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