Ray was born in Miami in 1933, the only child of Mable Parr Marchman and Raymond Marchman, both natives of Georgia. Ray was referred to in his youth as Raymond Jr., a name he disliked intensely. He became Ray as soon as he left home and never allowed anyone, apart from his parents, to refer to him any other way.
Ray graduated from Miami Senior High School, Emory University, and the University of Miami School of Law. Miami was a segregated city when Ray was growing up. He often spoke in later years of his awakening sense of racial injustice when his high school football team got new uniforms and the old ones were passed on to Brooker T. Washington High School. One of his classmates was Sylvia Minchew who has remained a close friend until this day.
Ray started his long and distinguished career by serving in the United States Air Force as a jet fighter pilot. He made another lifelong friend in Bob Sass when they met as student pilots. Ray retired from the Reserve as a Lieutenant Colonel.
After serving as Legal Assistant to Farris Bryant, the Governor of Florida, in 1961, Ray spent a year as an attorney with Shutts & Bowen before joining the Northern Trust in Chicago as Vice President in charge of Trust Marketing. He was to spend 34 years with Northern Trust, the first 15 in Chicago, and 19 primarily in Florida before retiring in 2001 as Senior Vice President and Director of Marketing for the Northern Trust Corporation. He continued to consult for another five years.
Ray came back to Miami in 1982 as Director of Marketing for Florida when Northern Trust was no longer only a trust company but had acquired full banking powers. Ray’s marketing genius was largely responsible for the meteoric rise that followed. Since banks in Florida were, as he said, “more plentiful than fast food outlets,” he came up with the idea of differentiating Northern as “The Private Bank.” He used as his model the private banks that for centuries had served the titled families and affluent of Europe. By 2001, Northern Trust had 27 offices in 11 counties.
Highly personalized service and community involvement were essential components of this success to which Ray added Northern Trust Forums, the Brickell Avenue Literary Society, and the Prologue Society. For years distinguished speakers, from authors to actors to royalty, appeared before Northern Trust clients. Ray’s ability to respond to any situation was never better demonstrated than when Grand Duke Vladimir, heir to the Romanov throne that no longer existed, dropped dead at a Northern Trust press conference the day before his speech. That was one of Ray’s favorite stories.
In addition to his Northern Trust responsibilities, Ray’s commitment to this community including serving on the University of Miami Board of Trustees, the Board of Directors of the Vizcayan Foundation, the Mercy Hospital Foundation, and the Concert Association of Florida as well as being President of the Advisory Board of the Wolfsonian FIU Museum.
Ray was a great storyteller, a lover of history, a yachtsman, a world traveler, a wine connoisseur, an art collector, a great party-giver, and a wonderful friend to a wide range of people. He is survived by his devoted husband Joe Siolek. May Ray live on in the universe as he did on earth - in great style and humor.