1 March , 1927 – 14 November , 2019
Portland, ME - Raymond Spiro died quietly and peacefully, surrounded by loving family, on November 14th at the Maine Veterans’ Home in Scarborough.
Ray was born on March 1, 1927. He was the middle child of three and the only son born to Jacob and Minnie (Leder) Spiro. He was raised in the Bronx, New York and attended Bronx public schools. He got his high school diploma from Machine & Metal Trade HS and enlisted in the Navy at the age of 17 to fight in World War II. He reported for duty after his 18th birthday. Ray was trained as a gunner, but when his vessel broke down on its way to the South Pacific, it was towed back to San Francisco, where the Navy discovered Ray could type and he was made a yeoman, instead, much to his dismay and his mother's delight. He was discharged as a Seaman 1st Class.
Upon returning home, he ultimately began working for The US Postal Service until his retirement in 1983. He married Rita Skolnick in 1949 and they had 2 children, Keith and Meryl, before moving to Brooklyn and buying a home there. Ray was always “doing”: active in his congregation, projects at home, fishing, golfing, bike riding, playing paddle ball, running. And making friends along the way. On July 4, 1980, Ray married Ginger Weinberg Freedman. They continued to live in Brooklyn until moving to Maine in 1985. Once again, Ray busied himself with volunteer work and served on an advisory board for Southern Maine Agency on Aging.
In addition, he worked at the then Jewish Community Center as Director for Senior Adult Programs. He was active in his congregation and served on its Board of Directors twice and on several committees. When they moved to a condo in 2004, Ray served on the Grounds Committee and on its Board of Directors. Ray loved teaching and he loved children. He taught Jr. Achievement to 4th graders for a few year and would engage almost every child he met with jokes, finger games or fist bumps. As his health declined in later years, he chafed most under the enforced inactivity. Finally, dementia and weakness made it necessary for him to move to the Maine Veterans’ Home in Scarborough.
Ray is predeceased by his parents, his first wife, Rita, his sister Sylvia Esformes, his brothers-in-law Albie Esformes and Charlie Schreier. He is survived by his sister Faith Schreier, his wife Ginger Spiro, by his children Keith Spiro (Adrienne Baum) and Meryl Kantrowitz (Mark), grandchildren Celia Spiro (Ethan Harmon), Jason Spiro (Nataly), Cara George, and Andrew Kantrowitz, Additionally, Ray is survived by his step-children Cantor Nancy Ginsberg (Scott Schechter), Steven Freedman, Cheryl Imbriani (Roy Mitchell), and Barbara Freedman (Yelena Goltsman), and step-grandchildren David Schechter, Michael Schechter, Andrew Freedman, Louis Imbriani (Cydney), Geri Imbriani, and Matthew Imbriani and three great-grandchildren, Talia, Max and Oscar Harmon. The family would like to thank the friends and care givers, especially the wonderful and caring staff at the Maine Veterans’ Home in Scarborough. Your love, compassion and support for Ray and his family made the last stage of the journey bearable.
A funeral service will be held on Tuesday, November 19 at 10:00 AM at Congregation Bet Ha'am (81 Westbrook Street, South Portland). Following interment at Beth El Memorial Park, friends and family are invited to return to Bet Ha'am for a meal of consolation. Shiva will be observed on Tuesday, November 19 and Wednesday, November 20 at 6:00 PM at Congregation Bet Ha'am, 81 Westbrook Street.
Please visit www.advantageportland.com to sign Ray’s guestbook to leave memories and condolences for the family.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Ray’s name may be made to: Congregation Bet Ha’am, 81 Westbrook St., So. Portland, ME 04106 or Maine Veterans’ Home Scarborough, 290 US Rte One, Scarborough, ME 04074.
- Funeral Service Tuesday, 19 November , 2019
- Burial Tuesday, 19 November , 2019
- Shiva Tuesday, 19 November , 2019
- Shiva Wednesday, 20 November , 2019
Rabbi Philip Berkowitz
18 November 2019
Ginger and family
Our sympathy on the passing of Ray. It was our good fortune to know him. Always a smile and warm greeting. May God comfort you. May the memory of Ray be a blessing.
Philip an Nancy Berkowitz
17 November 2019
Ray was such a fine man. We became neighbors when Ray always gave our puppy treats & was so kind to our granddaughter, Jasmin. We will always remember Ray & his wife, Ginger. RIP Ray.