July 13, 1929 – November 23, 2019
Raymond Gutierrez, affectionately known as Ray or “Tio”, passed away on November 23rd at Good Samaritan Hospital, with his family close by his side. Continuing to talk with his family through his final hours, those of us who were with him will remember that while his physical body was failing, his mind remained sharp until his final moments. Born on July 13, 1929 in Brooklyn, NY, to Joaquin and Zulima Gutierrez, he married Marie Kerwin in June of 1963. He and Marie enjoyed many happy years together, especially enjoying spending time with their families, until she passed away in 1994. Ray will be greatly missed for his kind heart, witty sense of humor, and his never-ending love of life. He could always be counted on to bring smiles to the people around him through his story-telling or witticisms. He enjoyed having a good time and making a good time for others around him. Women of all ages loved dancing with Ray. In addition to “wowing” them on the dance floor, he could always be counted on to break into song, knowing all the words and melodies to most of the old favorites, like Red Roses for a Blue Lady or Let me Call you Sweetheart. As a first-generation American, Ray was very proud of being an American as well as being proud of his Spanish roots. He was bilingual from childhood. He appreciated the journey his parents made to come from Asturias, Spain to the United States in 1918 through Ellis Island. As a “City Kid” he enjoyed growing up in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and the Bronx. In the years after high school, he worked for Stouffer Chemical, Union Carbide, and Gotham Dyeing and Finishing. Later in life, his favorite job was working at St. Raymond’s School in the Bronx, doing whatever the good Sisters and children needed him to do. He especially loved the children and they loved him. In the later 1990s, he met Mary Kunz, his partner of almost 20 years, and moved from the Bronx to Suffern to be with her until her death in 2014. With Mary, he enjoyed extensive traveling around the world, dancing, and organizing many group social events for their senior citizen groups. Ray often shared his fond memories of knowing Mary and his friend, Dolly Botti, who along with her sister, were of great comfort to him after the passing of his wife Marie. Ray’s kind heartedness extended beyond his friends to the community and world around him. As a member of the Mahwah Elks, he was inducted as a lifetime member as an Inner Guard. As an Elk, he worked with passion, to raise funds to send disabled children to summer camp. He was also a member of the Independent Order of Oddfellows to make the world a better place through his volunteerism and leadership. Among the many affiliations over his lifetime, Ray also served as a member of the Merchant Marines, for which he was very proud. Ray was passionate about his family and his country. He never got over the loss of his brother Al in WWII. This past June, in honor of his late brother, Ray visited the Purple Heart Museum in New Windsor, NY. During his visit he was very touched by the photos he saw commemorating his brother Al’s service to, and sacrifice for his country. Viewing the honor of his brother may have been one of Ray’s proudest moments and finally gave him a place to pay his respects, as his brother’s remains were never recovered. Ray was kind to all, including animals. Over his lifetime he had pets. Among his favorites where his two German Sheperds: Bonita and Bishop, who lived long lives under his loving attention and care of them. Ray had many passions, including his love of visiting with his family both here and in Spain, painting, politics, martial arts, science, history, and talking about his service in the Merchant Marines. He was extremely mechanical, and could repair just about anything. In his later years, watching the Military Channel, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, History Channel, and news on various stations helped him to keep up with learning and current events. He loved to learn and enjoyed discussing with and educating others about historical events as well as news happenings around the world. Ray was predeceased by his parents Joaquin and Zulima, his brothers: Albert, Joe, Jack, and his sister, Marguerita, and brother-in-law, Father Jack Kerwin. In 2015, he met his partner Judy Smith. Over the last few years he and Judy had many fun times together. They shared exciting adventures traveling to Cape Cod, Florida, and Spain. Whether they were taking trips to see shows or dancing at sock-hops, they just enjoyed life and being together. Ray is already deeply missed by those that survive him: his niece, Carol Gutierrez Walsh and Carol’s partner, Bruce Melton; Judy Smith; nieces: Jamie Gutierrez, her partner, Roger Sykes, Susan Gutierrez; nephew, Jack Gutierrez, wife Sharon; sister-in-law, Adelfa Gutierrez; grandnephews John, son of Carol, and Kris son of Susan and grandnieces Megan (Marc) and Marissa (Peter) daughters of Jack , his “adopted niece” Dr. Marcia Griffin Hansraj, numerous family members in Asturias, Spain, and dear friends. If Ray were here, he would want to give his most heartfelt thanks to: Dr. Michael Innerfield (Michael, as Ray affectionately called him and whom he relied on); Dr. Dean Miller ( who never gave up on his passion to live); and the nurses and staff at Good Samaritan, especially the nurses on 3T: Smitha, Tatsiana, and Rosemary; extending his appreciation to all of them for their amazing, kind care and support, especially when it was most needed. Visitation will be Friday, November 29 from 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm at Wanamaker and Carlough Funeral Home 177 Rte 59 Suffern NY 10901, at the corner of 2 Brookside Ave . His funeral will be 10:00 am, Saturday, November 30 at Sacred Heart Church, 60 Washington Ave, Suffern, NY 10901.
Donations honoring his life can be sent to: American Heart Association, 255 Lafayette Ave, Suffern, NY, 10901; Wounded Warrior Project, 4899 Belfort Road, Unit 300, Jacksonville, FL32256; St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.
- Visitation Friday, November 29, 2019
- Burial Following Funeral Mass Saturday, November 30, 2019
- Mass of Christian Burial Saturday, November 30, 2019
November 28, 2019
I have only known "Uncle Ray" for a few years through his devoted niece Carol. Ray had a positive outlook and like to have fun. He appreciated Carol's outstanding cooking and loved her dearly. Ray also was pleased to have John as his grandnephew and gifted him some of his precious swords. We will always miss Ray but his love loved ones were with him when he passed and he definitely is in heaven now.
November 25, 2019
Ray just wanted to say you were such a gentleman and an asset to the lodge everyone you met along life's pathway respected the way you always would talk about the lodge I was a honor as you would say to be an officer at mahwah years back representing the lodge at district meetings you will be missed god bless r.i.p ray !
November 25, 2019
R.I.P RAY IT WAS TRULY A PLWASIRE BUDDY GOOD TIMES AMD MEMORABLE ONES AT THE LODGE YOU WILL BE MISSED !
November 25, 2019
Ray you will be missed dearly. I will cherish the memories we shared from your trip to Florida and NC and ours to NY. You could always share a great story and smile.
November 25, 2019
As my adopted uncle, Ray, Aunt Mary and I sure did make memories. There were countless events at the Mahwah Elks where Ray was always up for a dance and always the chivalrous gentleman. There were dinners at the China Buffet, a cruise on the Hudson River......Then there were the trips....the most memorable being our trip to Washington, DC where Ray was able to honor his brother at the World War II Memorial. After Aunt Mary's passing, Ray and I continued to make memories. I escorted him and his new friend Judy to Spain to see his family in Asturias. Ray certainly touched my life. Ray will always have a special place in my heart.