BANGOR - On the morning of November 11, 2014 (Veteran's Day), Ray passed away peacefully at the Maine Veterans' Home on the Hogan Road in Bangor. Ray was 88 years old.
Ray was born to Ethel Frances Robinson on October 2, 1926. On September 8, 1944 Ethel signed for Ray to join the United States Navy. He served in the Asiatic and Pacific Campaigns during World War II and was stationed at Okinawa. He achieved the rank of Machinist's Mate Third Class with the SeaBees. Upon his discharge Ray returned to Bangor and married Phyllis Decula in 1946.
Starting at Viner Shoe, he worked for many years as a handsewer. Ray also worked at Bangor Shoe and Penobscot Shoe in the Bangor Area as well during the 50's and 60's. He was chosen to sew sample shoes for store displays due to the quality of his craftsmanship. Ray always took a lot of pride in whatever he did. In the early 60's Ray bought some land next to Jackson's Beach at Hermon Pond. He built two summer cottages there with a hand saw, nails, and a swing hammer. His family enjoyed many summer months at Hermon Pond boating, fishing, water skiing and cooking out. His favorite dog was "Jip," a mixed breed black and white Border Collie. In 1969 Ray built his first house on speculation while still working his job as a handsewer, sewing shoes at his home on Walter Street in Bangor. Ray purchased land lots from the late Bud Grant and built an average of 2 homes per year until retiring in the mid 1990's. He built homes on speculation and always sold them before they were completed. He fast gained a reputation for building quality homes and was well known in the area. Ray was a fine craftsman and a perfectionist; he often said the only one he had to please with his work was himself. His most ambitious project was the home he built for his daughter on Walden Park in Bangor. The beautiful 2 story amazed his peers, many of them thought he could never do it by himself. Ray even had doubts after looking at the huge foundation that was poured by Bud Holyoke of Holyoke and Young. He surprised himself when all the rafters he had built and set without a crane were finally dried in. Ray said Bud looked at the house and said "well I guess you really can build a home". A most impressive feat for a man who only weighed 120 pounds soaking wet!
He is survived by his wife, Phyllis M. Robinson; his son, Raymond L. Robinson, Jr., Lake Worth, Florida; Daughter, Anna Marie Fiori, Bangor; Five grandchildren: Rick A. Robinson, Naples, Florida; Sandra A. Robinson, West Palm Beach, Florida; Benjamin R. Robinson, West Palm Beach, Florida; Traci Fiori, Winterport; and Michela Fiori, Bangor; Eight great-grandchildren: Alexander and Connor Robinson, West Palm Beach, Florida; Eric, Ryan and Marc Robinson, Naples, Florida; Richard and Nicholas Clark, Bangor; and Jenna Clark of Winterport. Special thanks to Myles and Sonja Spring, devoted next door neighbors who helped out tremendously with his home in Brewer, and visited Ray on a regular basis for the past two years when he needed moral support the most. You always came through for him and made a big difference in his life. We can't thank you both enough! Also, special thanks to Maude Deluca for her kindness and caring visits to the assisted living facility and while Ray was confined at the hospital. You always found a way to put a smile on his face! And thanks to Fran DeRoche for your help at Maine Veterans Home and all you have done to make Ray comfortable. Thanks for everything you have done for Ray!
Family and friends may visit, 6 -8 PM Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014, at Hampden-Gilpatrick Funeral Home, 45 Western Avenue, Hampden. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 11 AM Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014 at St. Paul the Apostle Parish, St. John's Catholic Church, Bangor . Burial will follow at Mt. Hope Cemetery, Bangor.
Arrangements entrusted to Hampden-Gilpatrick Funeral Home, 45 Western Ave., Hampden.