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Dr. Erling O. Ravn

November 13, 1926 September 12, 2018
Dr. Erling O. Ravn
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Obituary for Dr. Erling O. Ravn

Dr. Erling O. Ravn, age 91, died September 12, 2018, at Bell Tower Residence, surrounded by his family. He served the City of Merrill, Wisconsin and surrounding area as a general surgeon and community leader for more than a half century.

Dr. Ravn, known by many as "Ole," was born in Merrill on November 13, 1926, the son of Dr. Erling O. Ravn, Sr. and Helen (Cotey) Ravn. He married Ann Elsen on June 15, 1950 at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Merrill. He and his beloved wife lived in the home they built at 1802 East Ninth Street for 58 years.

A 1944 graduate of Merrill High School, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and served in World War II's Pacific Theater until 1946. After his discharge from the Marines, he returned home to pursue his college education and a career in medicine. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison for undergraduate studies before enrolling at Marquette University School of Medicine in Milwaukee. Upon receiving his medical degree in 1954, he completed his internship and general surgery residency at Madison General Hospital.

In 1958, Dr. Ravn returned to Merrill with his wife and young family. He joined his father, Dr. Erling O. Ravn, Sr., in medical practice at the Ravn Clinic. He represented the third generation of Ravn physicians to serve the Merrill community, following his grandfather Michael, father Erling, and uncle Bjarne. In 1969, he, along with Dr. James Janowiak and Dr. Jack Millenbah, formed the Family Medical Clinic. Dr. Ravn took great pride in the Family Medical Clinic, and respected the many physicians, nurses, technicians and staff he partnered with until his retirement in 1989.

Dr. Ravn was a member of the Lincoln County Medical Society, Wisconsin Surgical Society and the American Medical Association. He became a Fellow in the American College of Surgeons in 1962. He served as President and Chief of Staff for many years at both Holy Cross Hospital and Good Samaritan Health Center.

Dr. Ravn was a medical director of the Wisconsin Division of the American Cancer Society from 1970 to 1990 and served as President of the Division in 1974 and 1975. In 1986, he received the American Cancer Society National Division Award for Distinguished Service in Cancer Control.

Dr. Ravn was an active member of the Merrill Area United Way, the Merrill Area School Board, the Merrill Community Development Committee and the City of Merrill Fire and Police Commission. He also served on the Merrill High School Band Endowment Funding Committee, the Nels P. Evjue Merrill School Forest Advisory Board and the Friends of the School Forest Membership Committee. He was the liaison between the Nels P. Evjue Foundation and Merrill High School scholarship recipients.

In the area of corporate governance, he served as a director on the boards of Lincoln County Bank, Church Mutual Insurance Company, Holy Cross Hospital and Good Samaritan Health Center.

In 1989, the Merrill Area Chamber of Commerce presented him with the Hall of Fame Award in recognition of his years of service and contributions to the community.

Dr. Ole was an avid fan of University of Wisconsin football and basketball. He enjoyed fishing, deer hunting and pheasant hunting with his German Shorthair Pointer, Schatze. He particularly loved time spent at their cabin on the Prairie River with family and friends.

He is survived by his wife, Ann, and his 5 children: Michael (Jean), Merrill; Kristin (Dave) Preboske, DeForest, WI; Mary (Dave) Brand, Brookfield, WI; Timothy (Tracy), Merrill and Thomas, Chicago, IL. He is further survived by 14 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by an infant son, Daniel, and an infant granddaughter.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be made to St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Bell Tower Residence or the Merrill Historical Society.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 12:00 P.M., Noon, Saturday, September 15, 2018 at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Merrill. Father Chris Kemp will preside. Burial will take place at St. Francis Xavier Cemetery with graveside military rites conducted by the Merrill V.F.W. Post 1638 honor guard. Visitation will be from 8:30 A.M. until 11:30 A.M. on Saturday, September 15, 2018 at the Taylor-Stine Funeral Home, Merrill.

Online condolences may be made at

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Previous Events





8:30 AM 9/15/2018 8:30:00 AM - 11:30 AM 9/15/2018 11:30:00 AM
Taylor-Stine Funeral Home

903 E. Third St.
Merrill, WI 54452

Taylor-Stine Funeral Home
903 E. Third St. Merrill 54452 WI
United States





12:00 PM 9/15/2018 12:00:00 PM
St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church

Tenth Street
Merrill, WI 54452

St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church
Tenth Street Merrill 54452 WI
United States

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