Raymond Edwin Lahti

November 30, 1952 - December 1, 2021

Raymond Edwin Lahti (69), loving husband, devoted father, and passionate grandfather, passed away unexpectedly on the morning of December 1, 2021 in Sandy, UT.

Ray was born on November 30, 1952 to Edwin Kustaa and Marian Rose (Mell) Lahti.  The oldest of six children, he grew up on the family farm in Toivola, MN.  From a young age, he acquired a love for canoeing, hiking, and hunting. His life on the farm also fostered the development of his incredible skill for fixing nearly anything with his toolbag and collection of spare parts.  He loved being outdoors and was especially at home in the woods. 

Ray later attended the University of Minnesota where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering.  He took pride in putting himself through college by utilizing the skills he learned on the farm to harvest trees.  After graduation, Ray began his career in oil refining with Amoco in Casper, WY.  Although work always came second to his family, Ray was a devoted employee and worked for the same company his entire career.

He met the love of his life, Denyse, in 1972 while both were attending the University of Minnesota.  They were married on February 5, 1977 on a frigid day in Hastings, MN.  Together, Ray and Denyse made their first home in Casper, WY, where their three children were born.  There, they enjoyed hiking, camping, hunting, and exploring the beautiful mountains of the Western United States.  They later moved to Chicago, IL and had the opportunity to visit the many museums and nearby state parks.  The last 28 years of their life together were spent in Sandy, UT exploring the outdoors by avidly skiing, camping, and hiking.  Throughout their active life together, Ray and Denyse enjoyed traveling and often visited the Northern California coastline to be near their children.  They were looking forward to many more years of adventures and especially to continuing to share trips with their children and grandchildren.

Ray was ecstatic to be a father and adored his three children.  He cherished sharing his time and hobbies with them, seeding and nurturing their love for the outdoors, skiing, camping, hiking, and traveling.  An enthusiastic supporter of their interests, he encouraged them to pursue their own passions.  Ray was immensely proud of his childrens’ careers and accomplishments and enjoyed sharing their successes with others.  Ray eagerly celebrated birthdays and holidays with his family and joyously celebrated his 69th birthday the day before his passing. 

As a grandfather, Ray delighted in his six grandchildren. With his expert calming touch, he bounced and hummed them to sleep in short order. Later, he eagerly joined in their games, from hide-and-seek to chess, and loved making them laugh with his goofiness.  He passionately supported them in their interests and enjoyed watching their growth through each stage.  Grampy could always be counted on to carry his grandkids atop his shoulders, push them on the swing, or give them a horsey ride.

Ray leaves behind his wife, Denyse Marie (Gergen) Lahti;  his children, Jennifer (Kevin) Andersen, Brian (Manuela) Lahti, and John (Madeline) Lahti; and his grandchildren Annika, Kataja, Kairic, and Alrek Andersen and Alessandra and Juliana Lahti.  He is preceded in death by his parents Edwin and Marian Lahti and his sister Ann Lahti.

A visitation will be held at St. Thomas More Catholic Church (3015 E. Creek RoadCottonwood Heights, UT) on December 9, 2021 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.  An intimate family mass will immediately follow.  Masks and social distancing will be required for all who attend.  In lieu of flowers, contributions to the family’s fund for a memorial in Ray’s honor in a National Forest or Park are equally appreciated, as are donations in his honor to Fourth Street Clinic.  Funeral mass may be livestreamed by clicking the "Watch Service Live" Button above, when it becomes available.