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Navarre, Raymond Francis  
Raymond Francis Navarre of Westland, Mich., family in MA Raymond Francis Navarre, of Westland Michigan, and father of Susan Navarre, Executive Director of the Fitchburg Historical Society, passed away at the age of 81 on March 17, 2015, after a brief illness. Born in Lincoln Park, and the oldest of three children, as a youngster, Ray assisted his parents Raymond Jerome Navarre and Ethel C. (Carroll) Navarre at the family grocery store in Lincoln Park, and later at the diner they owned in Ecorse. Although he gave much of the money he earned to his family to help with bills, he used some of his earnings to walk from his home in Lincoln Park to a local hamburger stand in Wyandotte, where he would order simply by holding up two fingers, his signal for two hamburgers and a glass of milk. After his lunch, Ray continued his journey to the Wyandotte Theater for the Saturday double feature; these regular visits to the theater contributed to his lifelong love of movies. He attended high school at a military academy in Mississippi, and then joined the Navy. After the Navy, Ray attended Albion College and University of Michigan. In 1958, Ray married Carolyn Edwards, and they had two daughters, Susan and Laurie. The marriage ended in divorce. After starting a career in the insurance industry, Ray soon switched careers and began working for the State of Michigan Department of Social Services, eventually becoming the Director of the Washtenaw County Department of Human Services. He was also a member of the Civil Service Compensation Commission and SEIU (serving as Vice President.) After his retirement, Ray enjoyed travel with Elderhostel educational trips. Ray is survived by his daughter, Susan Navarre and son-in-law, Tim Olevsky; sister, Carole Navarre; stepsisters, Jean Halat and Judy Smarch, and her husband, John Smarch; nieces, nephews and grandnieces, Jennifer and Kent Whistler, Heatherleigh Navarre, Vanessa Navarre; Hannah and Linnea Whistler; many cousins, other relatives, and friends. He was preceded in death by his younger brother, Donnie; his father and mother; and his daughter, Laurie. Burial has taken place. Donations be made in Ray's name to either Southwest Solutions, 5716 Michigan Ave., Detroit, MI, or the Fitchburg Historical Society, P.O. Box 953, Fitchburg, MA 01420.
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Published in Sentinel & Enterprise on May 17, 2015
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