Ray Lussier, a long-time resident of Vallejo, California passed away while at his home with his family on July 5, 2020.
Ray was an only child, born in Central Falls, R.I. on December 30, 1929, to French Canadian immigrants Anne and Isadore Lussier. He was put into a Catholic orphanage by his mother at the age of 2 then lived and worked with his grandparents on their dairy farm from the ages of 6-9. After the death of his grandfather he was sent to live at a boarding house in Central Falls where he was always grateful to have been raised by a loving woman, Mrs. LaValley, along with her three sons. He attended St. Matthews Catholic School but his real interest was in swing dancing and girls. He left school to work full time at the age of 15. He joined the Navy just so that his name would be announced at a local dance but followed through and served and his time as a radio operator on a destroyer in Europe.
In 1951 he married his dance partner and school mate Jeanne Casavant. They had 4 girls and in 1960 they packed up a few belongings and moved to California looking for a better, or at least a warmer life. To their surprise, Vallejo, Ca. and the Pacific Ocean at Stinson Beach were not the warm and sunny California they had imagined, but they settled there to raise their girls.
He quickly got a job at Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo and worked there for 31 years before retiring as Supervisor of the Rubber Shop in 1986. He was always available for night shift and all the dirty work. He also always spoke his mind. But he mostly loved to play and have fun and for many years he worked extra jobs to support his family and his tendency to own a variety of toys from mopeds to sailboats to motorhomes.
He was a great dad and Pepere. He loved all of us and always tried to do the right thing in his life. He was generous, considerate to a fault, funny, clever, often worried, sometimes stubborn and strict for the right reasons. He and Jeanne loved to dance, swing, ballroom and country western and were members of the Country Desperados. He loved dogs and enjoyed many walks at the Mare Island Waterfront with his best friend Casey, a spoiled peek a poo and great companion. He also loved the water and most family vacations were spent at some warm lake, boating, water skiing and swimming. Later camping with all the grandkids and every inflatable known to man including an inflatable Hobie Cat sailboat. He enjoyed every minute of his retirement. He and Jeanne traveled the country in their RV. He did not miss the snow at all! He was preceded in death by his wife Jeanne and best friend Willy Peladeau. He will be missed by his family, daughters Lynne and husband Pat McAndrew of Los Banos, Ca., Arlene and husband Chuck Graham of Poulsbo, Wa., Debbie Menkes also of Poulsbo, Janice and husband Ken Goetz of Carmichael, Ca.; 8 grandchildren Eric and Heidi, Kerri and Britt, Shauna, Greg and Lyall, Jesse, Clark, Jordan and Ben, and Kelsey and Chuck; 9 Great grandchildren Alicia, Carson, Teagan, Reese, Linnea, Paisley, Fen, Sloane and Claire, and life-long friends the Peladeau family, Lee and her children Cathy, Rob, Jim and Brian.
There will be a small ceremony followed by dinner at Napoli’s in Vallejo, one of his favorite restaurants for many decades. Ray was helped by kind people at Kaiser and in the Hospice and Death with Dignity Programs. We also want to thank his friends for their cards and phone calls. He enjoyed those very much.
He had no regrets and as those of you who knew him would expect, he got every good thing he could out of his life right until the very end. Hope you’re swing dancing your feet off somewhere. We love you Dad.
Sign up to get the most recent local obituaries delivered to your inbox.