Lucille and the Klein Family -
Know that our hearts, thoughts, and prayers are with you as Ray – husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, colleague and longtime friend – departs this world for the promise of paradise. Words alone cannot serve to convey to you the way we feel about Ray and your entire family.
From growing up with our own father, Don, another Akron native, lifetime friends developed lifetime friendships and bonds – Decum Club, Atwood Lake, Tappan Lake, fishing, boating, the Prindle Catamaran – sharing stories and families and triumphs along the way. For me, Ray was always the amazing Mr. Fix-It – no matter what we broke at the lake, Ray always found a way not only to fix it, but to make it better than it was before he laid those skilled hands on it. The little Johnson outboard that chugged along just fine before Ray got his hands on it one weekend became a smooth-running one-pull-start wonder-machine – and, somehow, whatever he did, which for that motor included incorporating a tiny metal Bayer aspirin tin as an integral part, just made it work. Re-rigging my father's pond yacht one time, it sailed away so well, even on a tethered string, that a passing boater picked it up far out to sea thinking it orphaned.
As my father's lifetime friend, Ray and his family became part of our own extended family growing up. Now, we all have to realize that St. Peter's call means something in Heaven must need fixing, too – and to know that Heaven can only be that much better with Ray there should give some measure of solace to us all.
Christopher Esker for The Esker Family and Thelma Esker