He was born in Baltimore, MD and after high school, Ray studied at Loyola College of Baltimore, the University of Minnesota, where he met and married the love of his life Marylou, and Michigan State University, where he earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry.
They were married for 60 years and raised five children together, while he taught chemistry at SUNY Oswego.
His love of music led him to become a church organist and choir director for 12 years at St Mary’s in Oswego.
Upon retirement he and Marylou enjoyed spending their winters with friends and family in Arizona.
He enjoyed spending time with his family where music was often central to the gathering.
He loved to offer free concerts to guests while performing on his theater organ at home.
Ray is survived by his brother Bernard O’Donnell (Mary)- FL.
He is also survived by children -Raymond T. Jr (Linda) Oswego, NY; Brigid Figliuolo-Chetney (Jamie)-Oswego, NY; Judith Erin; Shawn M; Maureen P. Sanchez (Gene)-Doylestown, PA
Grand Children are Jonathan (Cassy-Anne), Peter, Sara Figliuolo; Tracey Wallace (Ryan); Andrew O’Donnell; Eugene , Ernie and Evelyn Sanchez; Melissa Syrell (Eric); Matthew Wood (Casey)
Great Children are William and Ezra Wallace; Jack, Connor, Grace, Sophia Syrell.
In addition, he is survived by Dorothy Hebner (Bill)-sister-in-law; Michael (Nance) McGrorty-brother-in-law; Terry McGrorty (Mark)-sister-in-law and Bill (Kathy) McGrorty-brother-in-law.
He is also survived by many beloved nieces and nephews and their families.
Ray was predeceased by his beloved wife, Marylou; his parents, Agnes and Nelson; his beloved sister Carolyn and her husband Bill Mayer as well as his brother in laws-Bill Hebner and Mark McGrorty.
Ray was an active member of the American Chemical Society (ACS) for 65 years, both in the local Syracuse section as well as with national committees and events.
He had a passion for spending time with family which included camping, family gatherings at holidays, hosting social gatherings with colleagues and students, and playing dominoes.
He enjoyed the various musical programs available in the area and while traveling, he would seek out opportunities to become familiar with church pipe organs nearby to the travel destinations.
He and Marylou greatly enjoyed their involvement with the Newman Center Community in Oswego, where they established numerous lifelong friendships.
Ray spent the last 6 years of Marylou’s life focused on her care during her extended illness.
A mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 AM, Friday, February 8, 2019 at the Hall Newman Center.
Burial will follow at St Peters Cemetery.
Calling hours will be 2-4PM and 6-8PM Wednesday and Thursday at the Nelson Funeral Home, 11 W. Albany St. Oswego.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Hall Newman Center, 36 New St., Oswego, NY 13126.