'Menards Guy' Ray Szmanda dies at 91 - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

'Menards Guy' Ray Szmanda dies at 91


(KSTP) - The longtime television spokesperson for Menards, who ran a school of broadcast in Wausau, has died.

Ray Szmanda died at age 91 Sunday, his son Charles confirmed in a Facebook post.

According to his corporate biography, Szmanda was the spokesperson for Menards from 1976-98, during which time he became known for urging customers to "save big money at Menards!"

"Ray Szmanda remained a steady fixture in our advertising for nearly a quarter-century until his retirement in 1998," a statement from the company read.

"Still to this day, Ray's friendly, enthusiastic and fun-loving personality have made a lasting impression on our customers and all of us at Menards. We are saddened by his passing and our thoughts and prayers are with Ray's family, friends and the millions of people who knew him as 'The Menards Guy.'"

He studied broadcasting at the American Institute of the Air and took writing courses at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

He began his broadcasting career as a radio and television staff announcer until becoming a freelance broadcaster in 1958.

From 1959-78, he ran the Trans-American School of Broadcasting in Wausau.

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