Raymond George Alley Jr., 68, a longtime Central Coast resident, died Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, in Manzanillo, Mexico. He was born in April 1945 in Salt Lake City, Utah, the first of three children born to Raymond G and Dorothy D Emerson Alley. Ray spent his early childhood in the Los Angeles and Fresno area, before settling down with his family in Grover Beach. He was an accomplished athlete, particularly in surfing, wrestling and football. After graduation from Arroyo Grande High School in 1963, he continued his athletic and academic career at Taft College. In 1965, he was drafted by the U.S. Army and spent seven years proudly serving his country while rising to the rank of Captain. Before leaving for his tour of duty, Ray married Madeline Dias of Pismo Beach in 1966. He served one year in Vietnam and was awarded a Bronze Star in February 1969. After his discharge from the Army, he continued his education at Cameron College in Lawton, Okla., where he earned a degree in political science. Upon graduation in 1973, Ray returned home to California with Madie and two children, Shannon and David, and settled in the Five Cities. In 1974, Ray began employment at El Paso de Robles Youth Authority and remained there until he retired in 2007. While there, he became a staunch supporter of the California State Employees Association and spent many years working tirelessly for the union in various capacities, including president of the local CSEA chapter. Committed to youth sports, Ray helped establish the Five Cities Youth Football League. He also served as coach and board member in the Five Cities Youth Basketball League and Beach Cities Little League, as well as coached little league baseball in Paso Robles. He also gave back to the community with his many years of service in the Five Cities Jaycees and Five Cities Kiwanis. In 1988, Ray relocated to Paso Robles. He later married Nyla Cardenas in 2003, and became father to Paul. An avid traveler, both domestically and internationally, he particularly enjoyed frequent trips to Laughlin, Nev., to try his luck on slot machines, and San Francisco to savor a meal and drink at his favorite haunt, Lefty O'Douls. His sporting passions were golf and college football, especially his beloved Notre Dame Fighting Irish. In 2009, he retired to Manzanillo, a place he had grown to love during his many travels there with Nyla. He especially loved the people and culture of the city and the state of Colima. While there, he spent his days playing cribbage, doting over his pets and watching whales on his balcony above the ocean. Ray is survived by his wife, Nyla Cardenas; mother, Dean Phillips; daughter, Shannon Hurtado (Joe); son, David Alley (Crystal); stepson, Paul Cardenas; sister, Barbra Boyd; brothers Jim and Dan Alley; and grandchildren Alexis, Jared, Natalie, Lucas and Alyssa. '?He was preceded in death by his father, Ray Sr.; and brothers Steve and Tom Alley. A celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, Oct. 21, 2013, at Marshall-Spoo Sunset Funeral Chapel, 1239 Longbranch in Grover Beach. Donations in Ray's memory may be made to the Arroyo Grande Eagle Athletic Foundation, 495 Valley Road, Arroyo Grande, CA 93420.
Published in San Luis Obispo County Tribune on Oct. 13, 2013.