SIOUX CITY | H. Ray Krigsten, 73, of Sioux City passed away April 3, 2014.
Services will be 11 a.m. Monday at Congregation Beth Shalom, with Rabbi Guy Greene officiating. Burial will be in Mount Carmel Cemetery. There will be no visitation. Arrangements are under the direction of Meyer Brothers Colonial Chapel. Online condolences may be sent to www.meyerbroschapels.com.
Ray was born Sept. 7, 1940, in Sioux City. He was the fourth child of Dr. Joe and Molly (Glatstein) Krigsten. Ray grew up in Sioux City, although he attended Wentworth Military Academy in Lexington, Mo., for part of his high school career. Ray returned to Sioux City to graduate from Central High School in 1958. He attended the University of Iowa after high school. In 1964, he graduated with a degree in business and marketing from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
On July 26, 1964, Ray married Barbara Ann Hall of Denison, Iowa, at Shaare Zion Synagogue in Sioux City. The newlyweds first lived in Omaha, and Ray worked as a buyer for the furniture store, Orchard & Wilhelm Co. They then moved to Chicago for several years, where Ray was a regional supervisor for the Polk Bros. chain of furniture stores.
In 1973, Ray and Barbara moved home to Sioux City to open Krigsten Furniture & Gift Gallery, a furniture store that they owned and operated for 26 years. During this time, Ray also co-founded Select Comfort, the Sleep Number bed company. He closed Krigsten Furniture in 1992 to open Bedquarters of Southern Square, a specialty bed store that he owned and operated until 2001.
After retiring from the furniture business, Ray’s ever-present curiosity led him to the intersection of technology and marketing. He eventually went to work for Powell Broadcasting in Sioux City. While there, Ray was instrumental in building the iCast Interactive social media program. He had keen interest in new technology, and he often would teach people who were decades younger than himself about the latest social media concept. He also developed and co-produced the weekly radio program "Grow Siouxland." He retired from Powell earlier this year.
Ray was passionate about giving back to the community. He was a longtime member of the Sioux City Public Museum Board of Trustees, serving as its president and receiving its Volunteer of the Year award. He also served on the board of directors for the Sioux City Art Center, the A.I.D. Center (now known as the Center for Siouxland), and Sunrise Retirement Community. Ray was a member of Congregation Beth Shalom and had been a member of Shaare Zion Synagogue.
He was an avid bridge player, often playing in an online community with his wife and friends from around the world. Ray also was a golfer and tennis player. Later in life, he became a talented photographer.
Ray's creativity, humor, and unfailing energy were ever-present. He brought joy and light to the everyday aspects of life, and he was able to make even the mundane seem genuinely special.
He is survived by his wife, Barbara of Sioux City; his daughter, Lisa Krigsten of Kansas City, Mo.; his daughter, Marcy Krigsten Saylan and her husband, Kevin of Overland Park, Kan.; and his three grandsons, Zachary, Alex and Nathan Saylan. He also is survived by his sister, Kay Myers of Des Moines, Iowa; his brother and sister-in-law, Dr. Eli and Sandy Krigsten of Phoenix, Ariz.; and several beloved nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Gloria Fish and her husband, Willard "Tuni" Fish; and his brother-in-law, Larry Myers.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Sioux City Public Museum and the Food Bank of Siouxland’s BackPack for Kids program.