HOUSTON, Texas – Raymond Allen Kaligian III, 28, of Houston, Texas, and formerly from Raynham, Mass., and Geneva, Ill., died unexpectedly on Sunday, Feb. 17. His little dog, Willie, died at the same time by his side.
Ray started his life in Massachusetts where, at a young age, he had already won a golf chipping contest and was MVP of his baseball team. He moved to Geneva in the third grade and attended Geneva schools, graduating in 2003 from Geneva High School.
He was a gifted athlete, leader and scholar. He played travel baseball with the Fox Valley Royals until freshman year when he started playing for Geneva High School. He also played all four years on the golf team. He was All Conference Golf Champion in 2002 and All Conference Baseball his junior and senior years. He was also a National Honor Society member and Key Club member and secretary. He received the honor of Science Student of the Year and Athlete of the Year at the end of his senior year. The city of Geneva awarded Ray the Ben Franklin Science Award in a special ceremony held at the Geneva City Hall upon his high school graduation.
Ray went to the University of Illinois
Champaign-Urbana and graduated in 2007 with a degree in chemical engineering. He was very proud to be an alumnus of the University of Illinois, but his heart and soul was found in the Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) fraternity. He finally had "brothers" for life to confide in, play with and dream about their futures together. He was also a proud member of the professional chemical fraternity, Alpha Chi Sigma.
He was hired in January 2008 by the Phillips 66 Company straight from the University of Illinois to participate in their Selective Leader Development Program. During this program, Ray fulfilled multiple roles at the Phillips 66 headquarters in Houston and then completed a field sales assignment in West Virginia. He was recently promoted during the summer of 2012 to become director of Base Oil Sales located in Houston, Texas. In this role, Ray was the key liaison with global suppliers that Phillips 66 conducted business with.
Jim Gigante of Phillips 66 wrote, "I don't ever recall a young man that has touched the hearts of so many. I will always see that gleam in his eye, that ever yearning to learn and somehow there was a bit of innocence that set him apart from others. He was a rising star of Phillips 66."
Ray's first love was baseball, but it was his golf game that set him apart from others. He travelled with his father to Myrtle Beach for their annual "guy's golf week." He had become a scratch golfer and was used by friends, business associates and his father's friends as their secret weapon to win golf tournaments. Last summer, he won three tournaments in West Virginia and Pennsylvania.
Ray's creative talents and his determination to always be the best at whatever he tried to do led him to master the guitar. He loved classic rock and his guitar interpretations were special.
In the last couple of years, Ray's passion for adventure and joy for excitement expanded to include mountain biking and white water river rafting with his close college buddies. He also had started travelling for enjoyment having spent a great time in Ireland last year with his good friend, Jeff Shaw. He had plans to travel to Germany this fall to participate in Oktoberfest.
Everyone and anyone who knew Ray loved and respected him. He was the best loyal friend you could have. He was the greatest gift every day of his life to his parents, friends and family.
Ray was the beloved only child of Ray and Bobbie (Barron) Kaligian. He was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, Thomas and Barbara Barron; his uncle, Bill Kaligian; and his childhood dog and companion, Patrick.
He is survived by his grandmother, Carmela Principe of Abington, Mass.; grandfather, Ray (Ann) Kaligian of Laconia, N.H.; and many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends in Texas, West Virginia, Illinois and Massachusetts; and the family dog, Fenway.
Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m., Monday, Feb. 25, with a service at 7 p.m. in Houston, Texas, at Earthman Funeral Directors, 8303 Katy Freeway, Houston.
A Memorial Service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, at Yurs Funeral Home, 1771 W. State St. (Route 38) in Geneva.
A Memorial Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home. A Memorial Mass will also be held at noon Saturday, March 2, at the Chapel of Our Savior Shrine, 475 Westgate Drive, Brockton, Mass., with a luncheon immediately following at Thorny Lea Golf Club, 159 Torrey St.
Contributions may be made in Ray's name to his favorite charity, Rebuilding Together Houston, P.O. Box 15315, Houston, TX 77220, or to Willie's animal shelter, Houston SPCA, 900 Portway Drive, Houston, TX 77024. For more information or to leave an online condolence, please call 630-232-7337 or visit www.yursfuneralhomes.com.