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Raymond J. Piekarski

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Raymond J. Piekarski Obituary
Raymond J. Piekarski

AGE: 86 • Wilmington

Raymond James Piekarski, 86, passed away peacefully just after dawn on August 18, 2016 with his wife Bonita (Bonnie) by his bedside. Ray was born in Baltimore, MD to William and Lillian (Zysk) Piekarski. A four sport athlete during the school year and a lifeguard in the summer, Ray graduated from Baltimore's Patterson High School in 1947. He enlisted in the Army National Guard in 1949 at Fort Meade, MD and served with distinction as an MP with the 29th Infantry Division until his honorable discharge in 1958.

Ray's first marriage to Claire Wisnowski in 1952 brought three children into this world, Raymond J. Piekarski Jr., Christine Lynn Dougherty, and Nicole Piekarski. A job offer with Delaware Blue Cross/Blue Shield brought Ray and his family to Wilmington in 1959. He retired from Blue Cross/ Blue Shield in 1988 after a thirty year career, primarily in data processing and information technology. In his spare time Ray devoted many years of volunteer service as a Boy Scout leader for the Pulaski Legion's Troop 7, spending countless weekends at Camp Rodney and summer canoeing excursions in Canada.

In 1970, he married Bonita W. Vanneman and they were happily married for 46 years, celebrating their anniversary three days before his death. Ray and Bonnie loved the beach and owned a second home in Bethany for many years. They greatly relished time spent there with family and friends. During their retirement years they also enjoyed many road trips to all corners of our country, and were frequent spectators at the games, activities and red letter days of their five grandchildren.

Ray was predeceased by his parents, his beloved daughter Chris, his only sibling, Richard, and his darling kitties, Sugar and Spice. In addition to Bonnie, he is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Randy and Debbie Piekarski, grandsons, Raymond J. Piekarski III and Michael A. Piekarski, daughter, Nikki Piekarski, granddaughter, Katie Lynn Dougherty and her partner, Greg Pingitore, and his 16 month old great- granddaughter, Dakota Lynn Pingitore. Ray is also survived by his step-children and their families, Vicki Vanneman and her partner Virginia Spurkland, Brad Vanneman and his wife Anne and their children, Ashley and Kyle Cox and EmilyVanneman.

The family wishes to sincerely thank the Compassionate Care staff, particularly Wendy and Kiana, for their loving care of Ray over the past nine months and the staff at the Compassionate Care Hospice facility at St Francis Hospital who ensured Ray's exit from this earthly world was peaceful.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00AM on Monday, August 29, 2016 at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, 4701 Weldin Road Wilmington, DE 19803, at the corner of Shipley and Weldin Roads. Friends and relatives may call from 9:00AM-10:00AM at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church.

In lieu of flowers, Ray's family suggests contributions to Compassionate Care Hospice, 248 E. Chestnut Hill Rd. - Suite 4, Newark, DE 19713 or to St. Elizabeth High School, 1500 Cedar St, Wilmington, DE 19805.

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Published in The News Journal from Aug. 26 to Aug. 28, 2016
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