Menards Spokesperson Dead at Age 91
You may not recognize the name 'Ray Szmanda' but you certainly know his voice and face. He was the Menards guy for many years, and helped make that store a household name here in Minnesota.
Ray Szmanda was the over-excited white-haired guy for Menards' TV and radio commercials for over 20 years from 1976 to 1998. He came back to appearing in Menards' commercials the following year for just a brief time before calling it quits with them.
He was very dedicated to his spokesperson status at Menards, and even had his own website MenardsGuy.com. That wasn't his first stint in broadcasting though. Ray was a native of Wisconsin and started a broadcasting school in Wausau from 1959 to 1978.
Here's the news of his passing from his son on his Facebook page:
I remember the commercials back in the late 90's and suddenly Ray was no longer in them, but rather a woman in overalls and wearing similar glasses. It was confusing and just awkward to see, and she didn't last very long. If you lived in Minnesota and watched TV back in the 90's then you just knew who Ray was, not by his name but that he was the 'Menards Guy'.