Salem – Ray left us early in the morning on January 19, 2023. Blessed to be with his family, he transitioned peacefully, filled with love.
Born in Salem, Ray married his childhood sweetheart, Lorraine Jeffery and shared married life for 69 years. Being both from South Salem, Ray and Lorraine bought a home on Leach Street, then Shore Avenue. As the years passed, a lifetime dream of running a B&B became a reality. Ray and Lorraine sold their business at Cooper’s Garage on Essex Street in Salem and headed for their home away from home, Martha’s Vineyard.
Ray bought Cooper’s Garage in the early 1960’s and became the “Doctor of Motors”, so nicknamed by his wife. His reputation grew quickly, and he became the most sought-after diesel mechanic on the North Shore. Many local Salemites will remember Ray standing out front of the garage with Mouser the Cat wrapped around his shoulders as he waited to serve customers at the two curbside gas pumps. He knew most everyone and there was always a line for his friendly service.
Ray loved the ocean and took his family for adventures aboard the cabin cruiser, Lydia G. They included day trips to Misery Island and vacations to the Vineyard. On Big Misery Island he would lead the family on hikes through the woods yelling “Jungle, Ivy on the left” as he cleared a walking path. Many days & nights were spent anchored in the Cove for BBQ’s, music, and family. The island wasn’t a popular boating destination back then. It was theirs, a private oasis, and not far from home.
Ray served his country in the Army during the Korean War. As a young man, he loved the Boys Scouts and claimed the highest of honors by becoming an Eagle Scout. He also spent months learning carpentry skills from his uncle. Amable was a craftsman and ‘taught his nephew everything he knew. With much dedication, Ray mastered the skill and later renovated his Island home to perfection.
To know Ray was to know his magnificent tenor voice. He sang, along with his wife, in numerous choirs both on the North Shore and Martha’s Vineyard. He had a gift with music and could play the piano with ease. Just hearing a song, he could play it by recognizing the chords. Such a special gift, it must have been given to him by the Good Lord himself. He had a baby grand piano and the emotions that came through as he played brought song to your lips and tears to your eyes.
Life on Martha’s Vineyard was a dream come true. For 30 years, he and Lorraine ran the Katama Guest House in Edgartown. Their hospitality attracted repeat customers who later became good friends. Ray loved South Beach and everything about the Vineyard. In 2020 he agreed that it was time to sell and move closer to their children on the North Shore.
Ray was predeceased by his son, Raymond and is survived by his wife, Lorraine St Pierre, his daughters, Diane St Pierre of Rockport, Elizabeth Wood of Groveland, Carol St Pierre of Rockport, Anne and her husband, John Linger of Salem, nine grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and his brother and wife, Del, and Nancy St. Pierre, his nephew, Peter St. Pierre and his niece, Jean Alden-St. Pierre.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Special Olympics-Massachusetts, 512 Forest St., Marlborough, MA 01752 would be appreciated. Relatives and friends are invited to his Funeral Service on Thursday, February 2, 2023 at 11 a.m. in the Immaculate Conception Church, 15 Hawthorne Blvd., Salem. Calling hours will be on Wednesday, February 1st from 4 to 7 p.m, at the Levesque Funeral Home, 163 Lafayette St. [Route 114 / 1-A] Salem. For guestbook and to send a message of condolence please visit www.LeveesqueFunerals.com.
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