Raymond Zielinski of St. Augustine, FL died after a courageous month long battle with COVID-19. He was 83 years old.
Ray was born in Albany, NY on April 9, 1937 to Mary and Stanley Zielinski. He graduated from Siena College with a Bachelors of Science in Economics and received his Masters of Public Administration from the State University of New York at Albany. After graduating, Ray went on to proudly work for various departments of New York State for over 30 years. He was the President of the Albany Polish American Citizens Club during the late 70s and early 80s.
Ray and his wife, Ann, left Saratoga Springs after he retired for St. Augustine, FL. Here he worked for Red Train Tours, where he shared his love and knowledge of history giving tours of the Nation's Oldest City. He could often be found on the golf course, never forgetting to let you know that he recently "shot his age" or socializing with friends – celebrating at the 19th hole. Always adventurous and vivacious, he was known for his love of parties, laughter, wine and friendship.
During the summer months, he and Ann would vacation to Saratoga Springs where he would conduct Backstretch tours of the Race Track and volunteered at the Saratoga Visitor Center where he gave walking tours of Congress Park, Yaddo, and trolley tours of the City. Raymond belonged to the Historical Society where he continued his interest in the bygone era of Saratoga Springs.
In addition to his parents, Ray was predeceased by his brothers Richard and Stanley Zielinski and his sister, Pat Dobek. Survivors include his wife of 33 years and love of his life, Ann, Ray leaves three daughters who he was so very proud of, Alecia Ramos (Tony), Amy Lee (Joe), Alison Faggiano (Blaise), Ann's children Kelli Smachlo (Mark), Stuart McDowell (Gloria), eight grandchildren, and also his best friend his sister, Sandra Crooks (John).
As soon as Ray learns the layout of Heaven and its many attractions, we know he will be giving guided tours to friends, family and strangers alike.
Due to COVID-19 a memorial service will be announced at a later date.
Published in St. Augustine Record from Feb. 22 to Feb. 23, 2021.