RAYMOND G. THORPE
CORTLAND - Emeritus Professor, Raymond G. Thorpe, 84, of Cortland, NY, born January 20, 1921, passed away peacefully at home on September 6, 2005, surrounded with the love of his family.Born in Utica, NY, Ray received his B.S. and M.S. respectively in Chemical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Cornell University. He served honorably as Lieutenant, United States Navy, during WWII, with his final duty as Assistant Gunnery Officer, USS Bennington, (CV20), and was a Bennington plank owner.He later joined the faculty at Cornell and taught Chemical Engineering for 39 years, until he retired to care for his wife, Eleanor Livingston Crofts Thorpe, who predeceased him in 1990. Ray later returned to Cornell, and until the time of his death worked in the College of Engineering's Advising Services office dispensing sage advice to the current generation of engineering students. He was honored by Cornell friends and alumni in 1989 with an endowed lecture series in his name, which will survive. Dedicated to undergraduate education, Ray was one of the most beloved professors in the history of the School. Ray twice received the College's Excellence in Teaching Award, one of only two faculty members so honored, and was selected by each of the first four Presidential Scholars from chemical engineering as the person who most influenced them during their education at Cornell.Ray also served the Cortland, NY community consistently over a period of almost 50 years as a member of the Cortlandville Zoning Board of Appeals from 1956 to 1977, the City of Cortland Board of Education from 1964 to 1976, (it's President for three years), and finally the Cortlandville Town Board from 1977 to the present. He was Cortlandville Town Supervisor for the final thirteen years prior to his death. In addition to his wife, Eleanor, Ray was predeceased by sisters, Shirley Thorpe and Jean (Thorpe) Parr. He is survived by his son, Mark Thorpe; daughter-in-law, EvaMarie Suntum; and grandsons, Garrett Thorpe and Wyatt Thorpe, of Sterling, Virginia; his daughter, Kimberly Thorpe and son-in-law, Lt. Col. Donald F. Knight of Swansea, Illinois; nephews and nieces, Douglas Boone of West Winfield, NY, Susan Boone of Chicago, Illinois, Sherry Boone of Cortland NY, and Scott Boone of N. Chili, NY, and finally his loving and constant companion, Mrs. Valeria (Babe) Gilbert of Cicero, NY. A memorial service will be held September 19, at 1:00 p.m. at Sage Chapel at Cornell University. Memorial contributions may be sent to Caring Community Hospice Services of Cortland, 11 Kennedy Parkway, Cortland, NY, who in his final days did so much for Ray and his family, or to the Raymond G. Thorpe Fund, School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, 120 Olin Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14850.
Published in Ithaca Journal on Sep. 9, 2005.