A memorial service will be held at 1pm on Saturday, March 31 in the chapel at Presbyterian Manor, Lawrence, Kansas (1429 Kasold Ave), to celebrate the life of Raymond Stanley Reich, who passed away on March 27. Ray was born April 25, 1922 in Jackson, Michigan and spent his early years in Chicago and Jackson. He graduated from Jackson High School in 1940 and attended Michigan State University, leaving in 1943 to enlist in the US Navy, where he served until 1946. Ray was a navy quartermaster and served in the Pacific during WWII, often aboard a tank landing craft.
After the war, Ray relocated to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he eventually met Norah Barillas, of Guatemala City, Guatemala, who preceded him in death. In 1957, Ray and Norah were married and together they raised three sons, Steven (Austin, Texas), Kenneth (Plymouth, Michigan), and Gary (Lawrence, Kansas). Ray and Norah both worked at the University of Michigan, where Ray was a purchaser at the University of Michigan Hospital.
Ray was a great fan of music-especially jazz-and of contemporary art. He was also a skilled painter and draftsman. He and Norah created a family life that was filled with concert-going, painting, weekly trips to the public library, nature hikes, camping trips in an Apache trailer, and music lessons. After Ray retired in 1987, he devoted the next thirty years of his life to his wide-ranging interests. He lived in Chapel Hill, North Carolina from 1991 to 2008, made trips to Taiwan and the Canadian Rockies, painted, served as a hospital volunteer, adopted his beloved dog Lucy, sang and played harmonica with a senior performing group (The Village Revue), and enjoyed visits with his four grandchildren, Shane, Nolan, Davis (Plymouth, Michigan) and Bradley (Austin, Texas). In 2008, Ray relocated to Lawrence, Kansas to be near his son, Gary, and the two of them spent a lot of time together in the ensuing years frequenting concerts, coffee shops, and, of course, the public library.
Ray’s family wishes to express their deep gratitude to the many kind nurses, nursing assistants, activity directors, housekeeping and kitchen staff, and fellow residents at Presbyterian Manor in Lawrence, where Ray lived since 2012. To all of you, we second Ray, who often said, “You guys are the best!” We are also thankful to the caregivers of Great Lakes Hospice, who cared for Ray in his final months.
Above all, his sons are grateful for the gift of Ray’s life and for cultivating in them an appreciation of music, the arts, nature, politics, and what it truly means, to borrow an expression he often used, to be “a gentleman and a scholar.” Thank you, Dad-you were the best.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation in Ray’s memory to the Lawrence Humane Society (http://lawrencehumane.org/donate/) or to the “Honor with Books” fund of the Lawrence Public Library Foundation (http://www.lawrence.lib.ks.us/get-involved-2/get-involved/honor-books/).