January 4, 1926 — December 15, 2015
89, born on January 4th, 1926 in Torrance, California. Ray was raised in Bakersfield, California. He attended Bakersfield High School during the War Years. He enlisted for the first time when he was 16 by altering his birth certificate. The Navy caught that and said come back when you are 17. Like many of the teenagers of his day, he dropped out of school and enlisted a second time.
After the war, he returned to Bakersfield and began working at Kern Rock. Soon after that, he was hired by the Bakersfield City Fire Department and began his career in 1950. He met and married Arlene Leszar and they had two sons, Robert and David.
He retired from the City Fire Department in 1975 as a Captain. Ray then moved to the small town of Loyalton, north of Lake Tahoe, with his second wife, Nancy. Together they purchased a large lot and they built their two-story home in the back country. They lived in Loyalton for 12 years and then returned to Bakersfield.
Tiny loved to work on cars, engines, trucks, VW’s, RV’s and just about anything that had a motor or engine in it. This would also include tearing apart his Player Piano and putting it back together. He was meticulous and took great care in all his work. He joined the Sub Vets organization and took trips to various places for their annual meetings. During that time, he built two scale model WWII submarines. In 2013, he was contacted by the Honor Flight of Kern County and was thrilled to be able to fly to Washington D.C. and visit Arlington National Cemetery to watch the laying of a Wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown.
He is survived by his sons, Bob (Mollie) and David (Rebecca) and seven grandchildren with 14 great grandchildren.
There will be a Celebration of Life on Sunday, January 17th at the Firefighters Hall 7320 Wible Rd. at 11:00 A.M. Family and Friends are invited. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Optimal Hospice.