Raymond L. Ravaglia ’48, 89, son of Antonio and Caterina, brother of Dolores, beloved husband and father, peacefully passed away on Monday, May 4, 2015 at his home in Millbrae. He is survived by Donna, his wife of 51 years, their children Ray, Eric, and Mark, and grandchildren Isabella, Lorenzo, Margaret, and Tiffany.
Growing up in the Mission District of San Francisco, Ray received a Jesuit education, attending Saint Ignatius High School (’44) and then Santa Clara University (’48), where he earned a BS in chemistry. Following college Ray went to work at Bethlehem Steel as a Metallurgist and Industrial Chemist. It was while at Bethlehem Steel that he met his wife Donna.
A dedicated son, Ray spent much of his free time working with his parents on the family orchard and vineyard in Healdsburg. Some of his fondest memories were of watching his father in his late 90s still working the fields and his mother still making the family dinner for everyone.
After moving to Millbrae in 1969, Ray became active in youth athletics, serving as score keeper and coach for various baseball teams and also as the founder of the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) in Millbrae and as an AYSO Regional Commissioner. The early days of organized youth soccer involved being a jack of all trades and Ray would often drag his boys out early Saturday morning to line the fields with chalk and assemble the makeshift goals that he had built out of rebar (from Bethlehem Steel) and PVC pipe. Committed to the AYSO motto of “Everyone Plays” Ray often coached teams that could not find coaches of their own, even though this could mean coaching against his sons’ teams.
In addition to his support of youth athletics, Ray served on the Personnel Committee for the City of Millbrae for over ten years, as well as on a number of ad hoc committees. This life of public service was recognized by the City of Millbrae when it gave him the Man of the Year Award. In his later years Ray embraced the role of grandfather, playing the Italian Nonno with delight. Even after Parkinson’s had severely limited his mobility he was always up for a game of “whack the balloon with the cane.” His years at Bethlehem Steel had taught him the importance of safety first in all things and his children delighted in seeing his safety admonishments now directed towards the new generation and took solace in knowledge that the grandchildren would always be safe with their Nonno around. He will be sorely missed.