Monday, July 29, 2019

Randy Ray, RIP

My best friend from when I was in the Navy, Randy Ray died unexpectedly on the 28th doing what he did best: serving his country in a submarine somewhere in the planet underwater.

From his obit:
William Randall Ray (AKA Randy), 63, of Santee, CA, passed away at sea on June 27th, 2019, doing what he loved. Randy is survived by his wife, Karen, of 44 years, mother Shirley Ray, daughters Misty (Jesse) Rubinol, Rachael (Valentine) Chavez, Amy (Matt) Knippel, grandchildren Riley Rubinol, Cecily Rubinol, Mateo Rubinol, Amelia Chavez, Gabriella Chavez, Owen Knippel, Wyatt Knippel, Joaquin Chavez, 5 siblings, and many loving nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family and friends.
Randy served his country faithfully, 20 years active duty and 25 as a Department of the Navy civil servant. He enlisted in the US Navy in June of 1973. While his latest role as an Ice Pilot working with the Arctic Submarine Laboratory was his most fulfilling, he held several enlisted and officer positions during his career in the US Navy and was respected by men & women up and down the chain of command; seamen, airmen, captains and admirals alike.
When he wasn’t navigating glaciers & reefs to guide submarines safely to their destinations, he enjoyed music, sports, spending time with family & catering to his wife’s & daughters’ every want & need. He had dreams to retire from civil service in September of 2020 and to move to Tennessee with wife, Karen. Randy aspired to spend his retirement fishing Tennessee rivers, coaching little league and possibly even dabbling in community theater. Randy was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and a friend to every person he met – his passing is felt deeply by many near and far. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for your support in memorial contributions to Autism Speaks as Randy was a fierce advocate for all of his grandchildren.
I remember when we were stationed together in San Diego, and then in Newport, and then at the University of Washington, and we were commissioned together... but my strongest memory of Randy, is when we were in the San Diego Navy softball finals, and Youngblood was at bat, and all we needed was one out to win the championship, and we were up by one, bottom of the ninth, bases loaded, two outs... 

And I was the pitcher and the count was 3 -2, and for some reason I always seemed to walk her, and Randy called time out, ran to the pitcher's mound from the outfield, and said to me, "If you walk her again, I will kick your ass." He then ran back to the outfield, and I thought about it, and pitched her a perfect strike... 

Fair winds and following seas my dear friend.