The Obit For Ray Ratigan

Raymond Ratigan

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 process.

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 president.

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 and Lomb.

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 home.

In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to victims of Hurricane Sandy at www.redcross.org/hurricane-sandy.