Raymond Joseph Stepanski, 94, of Alpena, died on July 19, 2022, his family by his side. He was affectionately nicknamed “Ripper” and will be remembered on Mackinac Island, especially in Hubbard’s Annex, for his excellent carpentry skills and meticulous work on historic homes for 20 summer seasons. He also made lasting friendships during this time, and while on the island he served the Catholic community of Ste. St. Anne’s Church.
Mr. Stepanski was born on October 25, 1927, to Joseph Sr. and Elizabeth (née Romel) Stepanski in Alpena. He enlisted in the US Army in 1946 and served as TEC 4 in Japan. He married Dora Jean Dubey on June 19, 1954 in Ste. St. Anne’s Catholic Church.
He was a member of Saint Mary’s Parish of Alpena and was president of the Ushers Club for many years. He was also a fourth degree member of Council 529 of the Knights of Columbus.
Those who knew him remember the many entertaining stories he told of his Polish heritage, his childhood in Alpena’s ‘West End’, his military service, the bread routes and crane operation. He worked for Douville’s Bakery as a baker and driver-salesman for over 50 years, before retiring from Grocers Baking Company. Mr. Stepanski was passionate about crane operations, working on many projects at Alpena. Hands-on, he excelled in carpentry. Anything he repaired or built was meant to last, his family says. He taught his children to participate in projects, to use the right tools for the job, and to “do it right or not do it at all.”
In his spare time, Mr. Stepanski enjoyed bowling and hunting at “The Wreck”, his friend’s hunting lodge.
Mr. Stepanski is survived by four children and their families, Julie and Donald Bey of Perry, Karen and James Breitschuh of Macomb, Jane Stepanski of Clinton Township and Keith Stepanski of Alpena; five grandchildren and their families, Daniel Bey, Matthew Bey, Courtney and Charlie Page, Jillian and Trevor Collard and Sarah Stepanski; a great-grandson, Max Edward Page; one brother, Joseph Jr. of Alpena; a sister and her family, Theresa and Patrick Dignan of Alpena; several nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his wife, Dora Jean, 57 in 2011; a son, Kevin, in 2018, and siblings Marge, Jeanette, Alice, Elaine, Clément, Thomas and Arthur.
Family and friends will gather for visitation Friday, August 19 at 10 a.m. at Saint Mary’s Church in All Saints Parish in Alpena. Interment will be at Holy Cross Cemetery in Alpena.
Memorials can be made to All Saints School, 500 N. 2nd Ave., Alpena, MI 49707, or to a charity of your choice.