Just saw this. Very sorry to hear. I've observed Ray for approximately 25 years. Ray was an outstanding rally person because he knew how to have fun, encourage others, tell it like it is, and get roads, etc, etc, etc.
Ray also had an unusual ability to relate to virtually every other human being, and he gave everybody a chance to gain his respect. I always liked the way he honored the women who cooked for us at the Oakville grange. He valued people regardless of their socio-economic status. If he didn't appreciate something about someone's attitude he was willing to say so without reservations. We can learn a lot from Ray, not just the way he rallied, but the way he lived.
I met Ray on the first rally I ever ran, he was a classic and his events were always the best. It was the Do Wops, I don’t remember the year, it snowed and I was slower than tar. The Do Wops were always fun and signaled the start of the racing season. It was great fun racing in the Capital Forest, then down by Aberdeen and then the infamous Brooklyn Tavern stage. There was triumph and tragedy through the years. Janice and I had great battles and she would always psych me out in the dust. Those were great days and I have fun memories of it all. Through it all there was the stalwart Ray. When I think of Ray, I think of the classic Frank Sinatra song “I did it my way”.
Ray, thanks for the memories and god’s speed on that final transit. And Janice, my deepest condolences for your loss.
Thank you, each and every one, for sharing your sentiments about Ray with the world. I know there are some questions regarding his passing, which I would like to answer at this time.
Ray had spent the months of November and December in Laughlin, NV, where we’d rented a condo for 6 months, so he could have a warm place to winter over. In December, he began experiencing very severe upper neck and back pain, and couldn’t get the medical attention he needed, so his brother Rick, and his wife, Char (who were with him over the holidays) took him to Las Vegas for a flight home. Immediately upon his arrival we went to his Dr., who put him on some strong pain meds, but it really didn’t solve the problem. He had a full body MRI and it was determined that he would be a candidate for a spinal injection of a substance which would block the pain. He had the injection Wednesday, Feb 2nd, and the next day he went to the Brooklyn Tavern with his brother, and had a good time. He had lost weight and was weakened from the debilitating effects of being in so much pain, but we all thought once we were able to manage the pain, we could get him strong again. I fully expected him to go another 5 years, at least!
Thursday morning around 4:15 a.m. after a restless night, he suddenly passed away in his bed, with family at his side. His doctor believes, due to Ray’s heart history and recent “mini strokes”, that it is quite probable that a blood clot dislodged and went to his lung. It was very quick.
While it was/is devastating, I am very grateful that he was here at home and will no longer be suffering. For Ray, it was the best possible scenario. After we built this home 17 years ago, Ray said the next time he moved out, it would be feet first. He got his wish.
There will be an informal celebration for Ray at the Brooklyn Tavern, Saturday, February 26th, potluck, starting at noon; and will most likely last all day. The Tavern will be open, or BYOB for the Pole building area. Feel free to bring camping equipment, RV's, or?
i was lucky enough to have worked with him at the rallys the last 4 years, and attend the most awesome rally x ever! brooklyn bash!!!!!!!! as well as my father knew him from the mid/ late 80`s when wrc was here and my father was with team martini, and some of the most amazing and funny story`s from Grant his former team mate i have ever heard in my life. ray was a GREAT man. we will all miss him and I will be there with my follow people to celebrate rays life. he may be gone but will Never be forgotten.
Ray was a great man someone to truly respect for his outlook on life and his love of rally...
One of the many storys of Ray is , In 94-or 95 I asked Ray ,who was co-driving that event (maybe Doo Wops),if I could see his route book to figue out what stages they where running and what time they would be by.
And instead of just letting me see it he just handed me the route book and said 'here you can have it I dont need it' stuned I said back 'but you are co-driving? dont you need it for times at least?' his reply was simple 'No' .
What I found out later was he had more than one but just did that to mess with me....and it worked!!