Published in MetroWest
Daily News on January 5, 2013
Raymond "Lefty" Ratigan of Natick, Massachusetts passed away
on January 3rd at age 86 from complications related to leukemia.
He is survived by his loving wife Grace Ratigan (nee McClary), son Terrence
Ratigan of Maputo, Mozambique, daughters Maureen Ratigan of Natick, Massachusetts
and Elaine Wilde of Great Falls, Virginia as well as grandchildren Kerry
Ratigan, Michael Wilde, Colleen Wilde, Timothy Ratigan, Lucas Ratigan
and Joanna Ratigan.
Ray was born in Union City, New Jersey, lived in the New York metropolitan
area for many years and also lived in Virginia and North Carolina before
moving to Massachusetts.
Ray is fondly remembered for many things. He was an exceptional and versatile
athlete, recruited by the renowned baseball scout Paul Krichell to the
New York Yankees as a left-handed pitcher in the 1940's. He played in
the Yankee farm system until a shoulder injury cut short his career.
Later on, he took up tennis and won many local tournaments in Virginia.
He is also remembered for his passion for music, especially the work of
Ol' Blue Eyes. Ray had a wonderful baritone himself and would often be
asked to sing at social gatherings.
In addition, he is known for his sparkling sense of humor, quick wit and
legendary practical jokes. Most of all, Ray was devoted to his wife and
children. His enormous heart, love and care for humankind radiated through
his smile and the Irish twinkle in his eyes. He was generous, patient
and kind as well as fun-loving and playful. He would be the first to organize
back-yard games of baseball or touch football with his kids and others
in the neighborhood.
Throughout his life, Ray was a dedicated public servant with a strong
interest in local and national politics. Ray would never miss the opportunity
to contribute to the local community or participate in the democratic
As a member of the Board of Education in Waldwick, New Jersey in the 1960s,
he was instrumental in building the town's first public high school. He
coached and mentored young athletes through his work at the Herndon Community
Center in Virginia.
He overcame his physical ailments to cast a vote in the most recent national
election and was proud to have voted twice for the country's first African-American
Ray was a veteran of World War II, having served in the Navy. For most
of his career, he worked in marketing and sales, most notably for Bausch
Memorial services to celebrate Ray's life will be held on Sunday, January
6th starting at noon at the John Everett & Sons Funeral Home, 4 Park
Street, at the Natick Common, followed by a gathering at the family's
In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to victims of Hurricane
Sandy at www.redcross.org/hurricane-sandy.