Joseph ‘Ray’ Sleek
Joseph “Ray” Sleek, 83, of Helena, was well known and respected as the fiddle player, leader and founding member of Sleek Brothers Band for over 60 years. He passed peacefully, surrounded by his loving wife and family in the afternoon of June 14, 2019.
Born July 10, 1935, in Imler, Pennsylvania, Ray was the oldest living son of the late William H. and Ardella I. (Ickes) Sleek. He was raised on the family farm in Kansas, Ohio, and attended Risingsun schools. He was employed at various factories including Dolite Lime, Howard Zinks Company and Sunshine Biscuit Company in Fremont, where he was a cheesemaker for 33 years until his retirement in 1997.
Ray stayed active playing music with his brothers, son and multiple friends. The successful band played for numerous events throughout the tri-state area and beyond. He also participated and won numerous fiddle contests over the years. Ray was an active member and served as head usher for many years at Shiloh U.M. Church in Helena.
Surviving Ray, to cherish his life, is his devoted and loving wife of 50 years, Suzanne “Sue” R. (Miller) Sleek; four children, Jim (Brenda) Sleek of Fremont, Brenda Frisby of Columbus, Tanya (Doug) Lindsley of Dresden and Angie (Kevin) Ruth of Helena; eight grandchildren, A.J. (Adysan) Sleek, Mandy (Brady) Shull, Amber (Brett) Gips, Billy Ruth, Abby Ruth, Nicole Lindsley, Kailey Lindsley and Derek Frisby; seven great-grandchildren, Brice, Bryleigh and Baylor Sleek, Blayne, Brynleigh and Blayke Shull and Brielle Gips; six siblings, Ada Mae Meyers of Bradner, Tony (Lola) Sleek of Millbury, Gene (Shirley) Sleek of Gibsonburg, Earl (Tammy) Sleek of Fostoria, Nancy Biddle and Ned Sleek, both of Kansas; a sister-in-law, Sally Sleek of Fremont; and brother-in-law, Jim (Gail) Lash of Painesville.
In addition to his parents, welcoming Ray into eternal life is his son, Alan Ray Sleek, who died in 1959; three sisters, Goldie (Ned) Bowers, Dorothy Ickes and Lucy Sleek; and five brothers, Wilbur, Raymond, Harry, Roy and Tex (Louise) Sleek.
Visitation will be 1-7 p.m. Wednesday, June 19, 2019, at Herman-Veh Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 319 W. Madison St., Gibsonburg.
Services celebrating Ray’s life will begin at 11 a.m. Thursday, June 20, 2019, at Shiloh United Methodist Church, where his closed casket will lie in state beginning at 10 a.m. The Rev. John Ash and the Rev. Glen Herman will officiate. Burial will be at Metzgar Cemetery, Helena.
Memorial contributions can be made to ProMedica Hospice, Shiloh United Methodist Church or to the donor’s choice.
To express online condolences or to view Ray’s video tribute, please visit www.hermanfh.com.