GLOUCESTER: Raymond F. “Ray” Melanson, 87, of Gloucester, Mass., passed away on November 14, 2015. He was the loving husband to Joan C. (Brennan) Melanson, They were married January 31, 1959, and shared 56 years of marriage.
Ray was born in Gloucester, Mass., on February 1, 1928, son of the late Charles W. and Rachel (Alride) Melanson. He graduated from Gloucester High School, Class of 1947, where he was captain of the track team and member of the chess club. After high school, he joined the National Guard.
Ray worked as a machinist for Varian for 34 years, until his retirement.
He and Joan enjoyed Saturday night dancing and following the big bands with their friends. They also enjoyed 44 years of boating, cruising the Cape Ann waters, water skiing, diving, enjoying the beach, and watching the sunset. He was a member of the Cape Ann Sportsman Club and Cape Ann Flyers Club. He was an avid gun enthusiast. He enjoyed hunting with his brothers, Richard and Ernie, and target shooting with his daughter. He had a love for the ocean and spent many years fishing and lobstering with his daughter, Leslie. Ray had a very inventive and creative mind. He had many friends, who often wondered what he would come up with next. At the age of 16, he invented his own deep sea diving suit, including his own communication system, using an old hot water heater to create the helmet. He and his friends had a fun time using this invention. He was self-taught in hydraulics. He built his own lobster trap hauler, which many Cape Ann and beyond lobstermen continue to use on their own boats today. He enjoyed reading and, as a young child, he was seen carrying armloads of books from the library each day, a habit which continued through his life. He and his wife, Joan were great walkers. They walked The Boulevard almost every day.
In addition to his loving wife Joan, Ray is survived by his daughter, Leslie Melanson and her partner, Xochi Kountz of Billerica. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews.
Ray is preceded in death by his brothers, Richard and Ernie; and his sister, Pauline.
In keeping with Ray’s wishes there wiil be no funeral service. There will be a memorial service at a later date that will be announced for family and friends. For online condolences and register book, please visit . Arrangements are under the direction of the Pike-Newhall Funeral Home, 61 Middle Street, Gloucester.