Posted - June 08, 2010
Despite being confined to a wheelchair for the final years of his life, Ray, who died, aged 71, on March 29, was one of Jericho’s most cheerful figures. Ray was born just across the canal from Jericho in Upper Fisher Row. He went to St Frideswide’s school and then worked briefly at Percivals coaches. Soon, however, he took a job as a general builder with Dingle’s, originally in Hart Street, and then worked from the yard in Binsey Lane. He had a two-year break for national service in Cyprus and on his return, at 22 years old, he married Jean who lived only a few doors away.
The couple moved to Cranham Street and lived there from then on, bringing up three children, Kevin, Debrah and David. Ray was well known in Jericho helping out at all the community events. He was a great football enthusiast, and coached the Summertown Stars boys football team. He was a fervent Liverpool supporter and ‘You’ll never walk alone’ was played at his funeral. Ray was also a keen birdwatcher fisherman and cyclist, and at 40 years old realized an ambition to cycle from Oxford to Weymouth and dip his front wheel in the sea.
At 49 years old, however, Ray was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. He continue to work at Dingles, but had to retire aged 61. By then however, he had a new lease on life with the arrival of his five grandchildren, and in later years could be seen moving around Jericho in his red electric wheelchair – with a friendly word for everyone. Although in the final years, he found it steadily more difficult, he could always count on devoted care from Jean. Our sympathies to all the family.