Raymond Sholes
1925 - 2021
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Raymond Arthur Sholes
September 01, 1925 - January 17, 2021

Raymond A. Sholes, age 95, of Bakersfield, California, passed peacefully in his home with family by his side, on January 17, 2021. Ray lived for his family and leaves behind his beloved wife, Suzuia (Susie), his sister, Selma, his four children, Brian Sholes, David Sholes, Penelope Suter, and Michael Sholes, as well as seven grandchildren, and eleven great grandchildren.

Ray was born on September 1, 1925 to Raymond Auten Sholes and Helen Elizabeth Sholes in Tucson, Arizona. In 1935 the family moved to California. Following his first year at Long Beach Junior College, he was enlisted as a rifleman in the U.S. Army and served in France with the 399th Infantry Regiment, notably through the Siege of Bitche, during which he was awarded the Purple Heart, the Combat Infantry Badge, and the Good Conduct Medal. Ray was honorably discharged from active-duty service in August of 1945. Ray attended the University of California at Berkeley after the war, majoring in engineering. He was an accomplished figure skater, and taught ballroom dancing while attending the engineering school at Berkeley. It was there in the East Bay that he met the love of his lifetime, Suzuia Kiritani, who was a Kaiser Permanente nursing student at the time. Ray returned to Los Angeles and completed his final year of engineering school closer to home, graduating in the class of 1948 from the University of California, Los Angeles. He was a member of the Engineering honor fraternity Chi Epsilon, Engineering honor society Tau Beta Pi, and the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Ray married Susie on March 29th 1952 in Oakland, CA, and they started their family, there. They lived for several years in Santa Rosa prior to moving to Bakersfield in 1962. In Bakersfield, Ray worked briefly for the County of Kern, and then spent most of his civil engineering career working for the City of Bakersfield. Ray believed strongly in both maintaining physical fitness and conserving natural resources. He rode his bicycle to work, rain or shine, for his entire tenure with the City. Ray loved the outdoors. He was an avid backpacker, completing the trans Sierra from Crescent Meadow to Whitney portal, solo at the age of 42. He loved taking road trips, camping, kayaking and backpacking with Susie and their four children. He and Susie loved to garden. After retirement, Ray and Susie took up international travel, visiting Mexico, Russia, and Japan. During the last thirty years of his life, he took daily walks in his College Heights neighborhood, with Susie, until she was no longer able to go with him, then by himself or with companions. Ray lived for his family. He and Susie created the legacy of a large, loving, and supportive family.

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Published in Bakersfield Californian on Mar. 14, 2021.
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