• In Memory Of


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Raymond August Droge

Topeka, Kansas

04/15/1942 - 10/15/2023

Raymond (Ray) A. Droge, 81, of Topeka, died Friday, October 13, 2023, at Grand Brook Memory Care in Allen, TX. He had been a resident at Grand Brook since February 2022. He had battled Lewy body dementia for many years before our Lord called him home.

Ray was born April 15, 1942, in Seneca, KS, the son of Raymond and Gertrude (Koch) Droge. He grew up in St. Benedict, KS where he enjoyed shooting pool at Bergman’s store, running a bulldozer to build terraces and learning woodworking from his grandfather. He graduated from St. Benedict High School in 1960.

On October 5, 1963, Ray married his high school sweetheart Mary Lou Sudbeck at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, St. Benedict, KS. They raised four boys in Topeka, KS and celebrated 34 years of marriage before Mary lost her battle with cancer. Ray married Janice Zander on February 2, 2002 at Assumption Catholic Church, Topeka, KS.

Ray was an entrepreneur and developer at heart. Early in his career he operated a barber college in North Topeka. When not teaching how to cut hair or selling cars for Nemaha Valley Motors, he was busy building houses for his friends and family. In the early eighties, Ray sold his share of the barber college and turned his full attention to the housing market to become a realtor, which he enjoyed until retirement in 2010.

Ray loved the outdoors. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, camping and most anything as long as it was outside – especially KSU football. Ray was also very active in his community and Mother Teresa of Calcutta Catholic Church. From helping rebuild neighborhoods after the 1966 Topeka Tornado, to the North Topeka Sunrise Optimist Club and the Knights of Columbus, he never missed an opportunity to step up and make a difference. One example was the recreational area Ray and his fellow Optimist members created near Seaman High School. His soft-spoken demeanor and vast experience made him a well-respected member of a wide variety of boards and organizations in the North Topeka community.

Ray was proceeded in death by his first wife, Mary Lou (Sudbeck); his son, Darrell; his parents Gertrude and Raymond; and his sister Diane Laub.

Ray is survived by his wife Janice Droge; three sons, Bruce (Robin) of Olathe, KS, Keith (Lynnette) and Eric (Bonnie), both of Dallas, TX; two sisters Norma Jean Wojciechowski of Maumee, OH and Reva Deters of Seneca, KS; one brother, Craig Droge of Topeka, KS; six grandchildren Mallory, Camden, Alexandra, Kalese, Grace & Joshua, and one great grandson Eli.

A visitation will be 5 to 8 with a rosary at 7 p.m. on Friday, October 20, 2023, at Mother Teresa of Calcutta Church, 2014 NW 46th St. Topeka, KS 66617. A Catholic Mass & Burial will be held on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. on October 21, 2023, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church Cemetery with Father Arul Carasala officiating.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Mother Teresa of Calcutta Church – Topeka, KS.

Friday, October 20, 2023, from 5 to 8 with a rosary at 7 p.m., at Mother Teresa of Calcutta Church, 2014 NW 46th St. Topeka, KS 66617.

Saturday, October 21, 2023, at 10:30 a.m.  at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in St Benedict, KS.

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  1. Mike Wassenberg on October 17, 2023 at 2:50 pm

    My condolences to the family. I remember Ray very well growing up in St. Benedict. He was always the fun-loving and soft-spoken man. I enjoyed my days with him and Mary Lou and all my cousins.

  2. Tom Madl on October 18, 2023 at 6:06 am

    I’m so sorry to hear about Ray. I always enjoyed his pleasant, yet no nonsense demeanor whenever we sold real estate together.

  3. Trey Burton on October 18, 2023 at 6:51 am

    Bruce and family – my heartfelt sympathy. Ray was our real estate agent when Deb and I bought our first house in the 80’s. He was very kind and helpful to a young married couple who were clueless. Thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  4. Sandy Kirk on October 18, 2023 at 11:40 am

    Remembering my work with Ray in real estate. He was a wonderful man. He shall be remembered by us all.

  5. Julie (Germonprez) Hall on October 19, 2023 at 8:23 am

    Keith and Lynnette,

    I am so sorry to hear of your dad’s passing. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.

  6. Cathy Conn on October 20, 2023 at 12:50 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear of Ray’s passing. I became acquainted with him at RE/MAX and I always valued his knowledge as well as his kindness.

  7. Cindy Lacey-purcell on October 20, 2023 at 4:48 pm

    My sincere condolences to the family. Ray quite the respected realtor and always a gentleman that was helpful to everyone. I knew him years ago and always thought so very highly of him. He had such a sense of humor and told great stories. He was one of a kind. I hope your memories keep you blessed until you see each other again.

  8. Sheila Lewis on October 21, 2023 at 7:04 am

    My deepest sympathy to Bruce, Keith and Eric a long with everyone of your family members. Your father (Uncle Ray) was an amazing person, may you cherish his memories.

  9. Elaine Manahan Wassenberg on October 21, 2023 at 12:17 pm

    What a surprise…Time passes so quickly.
    Ray.. .I can still recall his little laugh.
    Our deepest sympathy to all family left behind.
    Elaine Manahan Wassenberg– Tim Wassenberg and Renee Wassenberg

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