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ROBERT L. RAY


'AY ROBERT LUMAN RAY Colonel, U.S. Army (Ret.) Col. Robert L. Ray, Ret., former resident of Annandale, VA, died July 22, 2013 after a 25-year battle with Parkinson's disease. Col. Ray, 78, was born December 20, 1934 in Brooklyn, NY, the only child of Russell Luman Ray, a newspaper correspondent for the Brooklyn Eagle, and Rose Eleanor Pullich, a school principal in Brooklyn, who also served as a Democratic district leader in New York. Col. Ray graduated from Brooklyn Prep in 1952 and from St. Lawrence University in 1956, where he was an ROTC distinguished military cadet and regimental commander. He received his MA in Administration from George Washington University in 1965. He attended the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in 1966 and the U.S. Army War College in 1973. Col. Ray was a highly decorated career soldier who retired in 1986 after 30 years of military service. He served two tours of duty in Vietnam. In October of 1966, he was one of only a few survivors of a military plane crash in An Khe, Vietnam. Following a four-month recovery in the hospital in Japan, he returned directly to combat in Vietnam to complete his first tour of duty. His military career included command assignments in Vietnam (1966-67; 1970-71), Turkey (1977-78), Germany (1958-61; 1979-81) and Korea (1982-85). His military honors include the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star, both with oak leaf clusters. Col. Ray loved sports and the outdoors, enjoying fishing and hiking with his family at his boyhood vacation home in Mt. Beacon, NY. He was an avid Washington Redskins, New York Knicks and Brooklyn Dodgers fan. Most of all, he will be remembered as a devoted husband and father who was always there with unwavering love and support for his family. He is survived by his beloved wife of 55 years, Margaret Bangs, whom he met when they were both teenagers. Together they were an inspiration to all who knew them. Col. Ray is also survived by his three children, Robert, Russell (Elizabeth) and Rose- ann (Jeffrey); and his seven grandchildren, Caroline, William, Edward, Matthew, Andrew, Julia and John. A funeral service will be held at 8:45 a.m., Friday, September 13 at Memorial Chapel, Ft. Myer, VA. Col. Ray will be buried with Full Military Honors at Arlington National Cemetery immediately following the service. In lieu of flowers, Col. Ray would be honored to make a difference in the lives of disabled soldiers and their families who have sacrificed so much for their nation. Donations can be made to Vail Veterans Program at P.O. Box 6473, Vail, CO 81658 or www.vailveteransprogram.org/donate">www.vailveteransprogram.org/donate. www.vailveteransprogram.org/donate.


Published in The Washington Post on Sept. 8, 2013
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