Of North Braddock, age 97, passed away peacefully on Sunday, January 10, 2021.
Beloved husband of the late Elizabeth (Miggin) Scalise who passed away in 1995.
Loving father of Dianne (Thomas) Kaiser of North Carolina
Cherished grandfather of Jessica (Thomas “T.J.”) Chmielewski.
Adored great-grandfather of Fiona, Allifair, and Kellan Chmielewski.
Preceded in death by his siblings; Joseph Scalise, Louis Scalise, Josephine Haus, and Concetta Pella.
Longtime dear friend and dancing partner of Ruth Schuster and the late Pauline Crawford.
Also survived by many nieces, nephews, friends, and fellow veterans.
Ray was a 1942 graduate of North Braddock Scott High School. After graduating from high school early, Ray embarked on a long and successful career in serving his country in the U.S. Navy. He enlisted into the Navy in 1942 for duty in World War II, and went on to experience duty for over 26 1/2 years throughout the Korean and Vietnam Wars. In the early years of his career, he was trained as a deep-sea diver and would carry out underwater tasks such as the dismantling of sunken vessels. Ray was a shipmate on the USS Ortolan, USS Tappahannock, USS Darby, USS Arcadia, and the USS Duluth, where he served as the Damage Control Assistant.
Some of the significant awards presented to Ray during his military career were the Navy Commendation Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, and the WW II Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal. Ray retired from the Navy in 1968 with the rank of Chief Warrant Officer W-4. After retiring, he settled back into his hometown of North Braddock and began to work for the Westinghouse East Pittsburgh Plant as a pipe fitter. He then went on to work for Dravo, where he held numerous leadership positions and was summoned to represent the company in China to oversee ship manufacturing. Ray was a member of the East Pittsburgh VFW Post 5008, the White Oak American Legion, a Golden Member of the U.S. Naval Institute, and the Moose Lodges of East Pittsburgh and Irwin. He was also a dedicated member of the Italian Sons and Daughters of America Lodge 224 in Forest Hills, where he served as the club treasurer for over 40 years. Since 1962, Ray has been a treasured member of the AMVETS Post 60 in North Braddock and held the position of Post Commander in the 1970s. Ray took pride in participating in the annual Memorial Day Services and would often visit surrounding cemeteries to place an American Flag on the graves of his fallen brothers.
Ray was a talented wood sculptor and greatly enjoyed fishing, gardening, and dancing. He was an inspirational mentor to many that were considering entering the military and always spoke highly of the fellow shipmates he served with during his tenure. Ray deeply adored his family and cherished the great times he spent with them over the years.
Friends welcome Tuesday from 2-4 & 6-8 p.m. at Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home and Crematory Inc; Turtle Creek / Monroeville Chapel, 1111 Monroeville Ave. at James St., Turtle Creek 412-823-9350, where the AMVETS Post 60 will host a service for Ray at 7:30 p.m. The visitation will be accessible virtually via Zoom, Meeting ID: 839 0690 7661, Passcode: 015970.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Wednesday at 1 p.m. in Sacred Heart Church of St. Joseph the Worker Parish. The mass will be streamed live on the funeral home Facebook page. Please visit our website for directions.
Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, face masks will be required in both the funeral home and church and social distancing will be observed.
Ray will be laid to rest with Military Honors in Braddock Catholic Cemetery.
Memorial Contributions may be made to the AMVETS Post 60, 1135 Wolfe Ave., North Braddock, PA 15104 -OR- Wounded Warrior Project, 600 River Ave Suite 400, Pittsburgh, PA 15212.