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Raymond Curry

November 21, 1920 February 7, 2021
Raymond Curry
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Obituary for Raymond Curry

Raymond Francis Curry, age 100, of Longwood, FL, died at home, surrounded by family, at 8:56pm on Sunday, February 7, 2021. Ray lived a long life that included so many interesting
adventures and journeys. With the deepest love for his family and friends, Ray lived life to the
fullest for over 100 years. He was the husband of Ruth Ann (Bedard) Curry who died on July
17, 1992.
Ray was born in Central Falls, RI, on November 21, 1920, the son of the late John Curry and
Ellen (Geraghty) Curry. Ray was a graduate of St. Raphael’s Academy, Pawtucket, RI, and
Providence College, Providence, RI, later earning a master’s degree from the Florida Institute of Technology (later called the University of Central Florida). After a long military career, he
became a longtime resident of Florida until his death.
Ray is survived by four children: Brian Curry of Tampa, FL, Thomas Curry of St. Augustine,
FL, Patricia (Curry) Fitzpatrick and her husband David of Jacksonville, FL, and Cynthia (Curry)
Letson and her husband Conrad, of Winter Springs, FL, eight grandchildren: Justin Curry,
Christopher Curry, Kimberlee Flynn, Kellee Martinez, Tyler Letson, Travis Letson, Trey Letson
and Trent Letson. He is also survived by five great-grandchildren: Alexis and Emilee Martinez,
Dylan Flynn, Hailey Curry and Jayce Curry.
Ray enjoyed a 20-plus year career in the United States Navy as a Naval aviator and pilot. In
2016 he was recognized by the Seminole County Veterans Association and Seminole County
Veteran’s Day Celebration as one of ‘The Greatest Generation’ of Seminole County. Ray joined the Navy in 1942 and was commissioned in 1944, later earning his Wings after completing flight training in Pensacola. During his Navy career, he served in many interesting assignments and leadership roles including Executive Officer of Aviation Shore Activity, as Officer in Charge of the Navy’s Gunfire Support Training Unit in Roosevelt Roads, PR, and as chief pilot on a USNNational Geographic Society expedition researching sea turtles in the Caribbean. Ray’s incredible career as a Navy pilot included recognition as one of the Navy’s last “lighter than air”or blimp (LTA) pilots, as an instructor at the United States Naval Academy, serving as a plane commander in the Navy’s Airborne Early Warning Squadron, better known as the “Hurricane Hunters,” predecessor to today’s NOAA squadron, and flying seaplanes in air-sea rescue. Ray and his family enjoyed duty stations in Kodiak, AK, Monterrey, CA, Lakehurst, NJ, Elizabeth City, NC, Annapolis, MD, Weymouth, MA, Jacksonville, FL, and Puerto Rico. He retired as a Naval officer with commendations, including the WWII Victory Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern and Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medals, and the Korean Service Medal. Upon retirement from the Navy, Ray was successful in other career endeavors. These included positions at U.S. Rubber in Woonsocket, RI, Duval Motor Company (Ford) in Jacksonville, and as a soccer coach and interim Headmaster at the Florida Air Academy prep school in Melbourne. Before finally retiring, he served as a faculty member at the Florida Institute of Technology, teaching in the Department of Aeronautical Sciences with Flight.
Ray loved singing and dancing to the music and songs of his era, especially the Big Band sounds and was never shy about being ‘the life of the party.’ Even in his later years, ask him to sing a song and he could almost always do it, recalling the words and music perfectly; cue ‘You’ll Never Know (1943)’ and the Irish ballad ‘Danny Boy.’ Ray also loved sports and instilled in his children the same. Ray's sharp mind and ability to recall facts, even as he approached 100 years old, always amazed everyone who met him. In his last days, he was still able to recite from memory, ‘The Gettysburg Address’ and the Rudyard Kipling poem ‘Gunga Din.’ And a ‘fun fact’ about Ray; he even could say, and recount a story of how he, as a young boy, met and knew a Civil War veteran in his hometown.
Ray and his family greatly appreciated his primary caregivers who helped to extend his quality
of life at home in his final months and believe they should be mentioned like family. Ray’s
‘cortège’ as he called them, included Jessica Eleya, Peggy Cecala, Mackenzie Mannerburg,
Suzanne Borges, Latonya Williams, Evelyn Vidal, and others. Thank you!
A service will be held on Friday, April 16, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. at St. Stephens Catholic Church in
Winter Springs with a Celebration of Life following at the home of Cindi Letson, 108 Atrium
Ct., Winter Springs Fla. Also, a graveside burial service will be held on Saturday, April 17, at
3:00 p.m. at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, 11757 Old St Augustine Rd #2001, Jacksonville, FL
32258, (904) 268-5422.
In lieu of floral arrangements the family would appreciate contributions to the American Cancer
Society to the memory of Raymond F. Curry. Contributions may be made at:
https://www.cancer.org/involved/donate.html or by calling 800 227-2345. Donations may also
be mailed to the Donation Mailing Address: American Cancer Society, PO Box 22478,
Oklahoma City, OK 73123

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