SINGER ISLAND, Fla. - Raymond M. Adams, of Singer Island and Cape Elizabeth, Maine, died in Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center Dec. 6, 2012, after a brief illness.
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He was 90 years young. Born on Sept. 1, 1922, in Manchester, N.H., to George H. and Bertha (Rajotte) Adams, he attended local schools and graduated in 1941 from Manchester West High School.
Having always dreamed of flying, he hitchhiked to Toronto, Canada and joined the Royal Canadian Air Force. He was trained and received his wings in Dauphin, Manitoba, Canada in 1941.
He flew RAF Lancaster Heavy Bombers from England. When the U.S. entered World War II after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, he transferred to the 8th Air Force in London, England. He served in the U.S. Air Force as an instructor pilot until his discharge in 1945. He held both commercial and instructor licenses for many years.
After the war, a chance encounter with an acquaintance on a Manchester, N.H., street led him to Albany, N.Y., to sell "boilers," beginning a lifelong career with Colonial Supply Corp., a wholesale plumbing and heating company.
On Jan. 17, 1951, he married Manchester native Helen Papp at St. Margaret Mary's Church, in Albany, N.Y. They relocated to Maine in June 1952, when Ray opened the Portland, Maine branch of Colonial. He served as director of the Plumbing and Heating Wholesalers of New England for many years.
Ray was an avid golfer, belonging to the North Palm Beach Country Club in Florida and Purpoodock Club in Maine. Over the years he enjoyed many trips with friends to numerous golf destinations. While at Purpoodock, Ray was one of a small group of members instrumental in the expansion and development of "the back nine." He was on the Board of Governors for five years and was club president from 1981 to 1983.
Retiring to Singer Island in 1987, he drove the yearly summer trip to Maine and back until he was 87, when he retained the services of a chauffeur.
Ray was a communicant of Holy Cross Church in Maine and St. Francis of Assisi in Florida.
He was predeceased by his parents, his brother George, and in 1998, his wife of 47 years, Helen.
He is survived by his two daughters, Susan Gillis (Peter) of Cape Elizabeth, Maine and Elaine Bayer (Bill) of Cedar Park, Texas; three grandsons, Mitchell, Eric, and Kyle Bayer, all of Texas; two granddaughters, Helen and Nona Gillis of Maine; a great-grandson, Brady Bayer of Texas and several nieces and nephews.
SERVICES: Family and friends are invited to attend visiting hours from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday at The Hobbs Funeral Home, 230 Cottage Road, South Portland, Maine.
A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Friday at Holy Cross Church, 436 Broadway, South Portland, Maine.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Catherine McAuley High School, 631 Stevens Ave., Portland, Maine 04103.
Published in Union Leader from Dec. 12 to Dec. 13, 2012