Raymond Murray Cleary was born on September 25, 1921 to Mary and James Cleary. Raymond had two siblings, an older brother Sylvester and twin brother James. When first born, he lived in the Bronx for a short time before the family moved to Forest Hills where he lived in the same house for 94 years.
Growing up Ray was a very active member of the Boys Scouts troop #22. Attended Our Lady Queen of Martyrs elementary school in Forest Hills. He was an outstanding shortstop for Richmond High School and the Forest Hills Ravens. In his parish church, Our Lady of Mercy, he was part of the fund raising committee for the building of a new school. Ray was an active in the Holy Name Society bowling league and was most recently part of the Consolation Ministry. He was so thoughtful and considerate of other people. He attended mass daily. He was a dedicated golfer still playing at the age of 91. He was also a member of the Bushwick Club, a businessmen’s association, where he was always asked to say Grace before all events.
At the beginning of WWII, Ray enlisted in the Army Air Corps, qualifying as an instructor, then a fighter pilot and attaining the rank of Lieutenant. He was stationed in Italy and flew over 25 missions in a P-38 Lightening fighter plane. On one such mission he had an engine shot out. Using only one engine he was forced to land at a British airbase. They offered him a drink and they came with a cup of tea. His strong love of country continued his whole life.
Returning home, Raymond married his sweetheart, Rita Donlin, and had three children – Richard, Patricia and Lynn. He attended CCNY college and worked as an accountant for American Brands for over 40 years. He was a hard dedicated worker for his family, community and the nation. He enjoyed his life.
The family will miss him dearly for the sparkle in his eye, his keen wit, honesty and candor. He was a gentleman, man of values, a wonderful role model and father enjoying good company and conversation. He is survived by his children, Richard (Joann), Patricia (Dan), Lynn (Brian) and loving grandchildren Miranda, Muriel, Nicole, Conor, Carolyn, and 5 great grandchildren Robin, Troy, Reed, Henry, and Kathleen.
Our business is conducted in the New York Metropolitan, Long Island and Westchester areas. In addition, we have assisted families in many other areas. Our beautiful facilities and commitment to service have made the Fox Funeral Home a Forest Hills landmark.