Raymond DALKA, not yet 20, was among the 46-57 missing souls who perished when the carferry SS Milwaukee floundered and sank in a gale between Milwaukee and Muskegon on October 22, 1929.
The ship was laden with 25 cars of lumber, barley, feed, canned goods, grits, corn, salt, butter, bathtubs and automobiles. Despite grave storm warnings, the SS Milwaukee set off on the afternoon of October 22nd under the command of Captain Robert H. "Heavy Weather" McKAY. Spectators in a bar atop a Milwaukee hotel reported the Milwaukee came right up out of lake and feared she would never make it across the lake.
By 6:30 p.m., A.R. SADON, the ship's purser had attached a container to the masthead holding the following note: "Ship is taking on water fast. We have turned and headed for Milwaukee. The pumps are all working, but the sea gate is bent, and won't keep the water out . Flickers are flooded. Seas are tremendous. Things look bad. The crew roll is about the same as last payday."
Young Roman "Raymond" DALKA was not listed on that payroll and also he had been ill recently, so it was thought that he had not been on board until his body was found some days later along with three others drifting in a lifeboat off St. Joseph.
Raymond had been sailing the Great Lakes for the past four years. Before that, "Monnie" as he was affectionately known to many, had worked in various repair shops around Manistee.
Preceded in death by his father Stanislaw "Stanley" DALKA, he is survived by his foster father Valenty "William" ROZGA and mother Pelagia "Blanche" (JANOWIAK)DALKA ROZGA of 246 Twelfth Street, and siblings, Mrs. Arthur (Marie DALKA) GUTOW, Chicago; Mrs. John (Bernice DALKA) SOBIASKI, Manistee; Mrs. Otto (Stella DALKA) IVERSON of Onekama; Edwin DALKA at home; and Mrs. Roger (Claire DALKA) HANSON of Chicago.
The funeral will be held from St. Joseph's Church, Rev. Kaplanowski officiating. Internment will be at St. Carmel cemetery.
Four other Manisteeans were believed to be a part of SS Milwaukee's crew that day: Harry OWENS, first assistant engineer, of Fifth Avenue; Axel WIDING, most recently of 228 Sixth Street; Ray DICKIE, chief engineer and resident of South Maple street, and Frank TYRAN.