Raymond Knihtila, 66, of Phillips, passed away at Aspirus Wausau Hospital on Thursday, December 29, 2022. He was born to Reino and Alberta (LeFavor) Knihtila on July 7, 1956 in Duluth, Minnesota.
He graduated from Duluth Central High School and then attended the University of Wisconsin-Superior where he received his Bachelor's degree in Music Education. He taught music for 34 years with the Phillips School District, teaching band, choir, show choir, jazz band, and producing many musicals. His favorite musicals were Into the Woods and Cinderella. He is remembered by generations of students as a fantastic teacher and mentor. He was a member of Northwoods Players as a performer in the Madrigal Dinner and numerous musicals. When not performing, he contributed by directing the pit orchestra. Raymond married Pamela Driver on June 9,1979, and they would share their passion for teaching for many years before earning the Friends Of Education Award. He enjoyed bowling, golf, and was a die-hard fan of the Minnesota Vikings. His other great passion was Boy Scouts. Throughout his time in scouting, he served as Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmaster, Merit Badge Counselor, and District Commissioner. His scouting adventures included many trips to Camp Tesomas and went as far as Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. He was a member of the Brotherhood of the Order of the Arrow and earned the prestigious Silver Beaver award for his service to Samoset Council.
Ray is survived by his wife, Pam; children, Joshua, Adam, Matt (Charissa), and TJ (Jess); brother, Bob (Nancy); 5 grandchildren; nieces; nephews; cousins; and friends. He is preceded in death by his parents, Reino and Alberta, and his step-father, Melvin Lind.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Ray Knihtila Scholarship fund at https://gofund.me/5c57168a
A visitation will be held from 3 p.m. - 6 p.m. on Wednesday, January 4, 2023, at the Heindl-Nimsgern Funeral Home, 284 Chestnut Street, Phillips, WI 54555. Heindl-Nimsgern Funeral Home is assisting the family.