WILMINGTON — Raymond Charles Miller passed away peacefully with his family by his side at the age of 87 on Monday, Jan. 2, 2017, at Cape Fear Hospice.
He is survived by the love of his life and wife of 58 years, Dolores; four daughters, Elise Karnegis (Tony), Sara Essert (Glenn), Gabrielle Collins (Edward) and Alison Quatrini (Phillip); and six loving grandchildren, Sophia, Alex, P.J., Eddie, Katherine and John.
Ray was preceded in death by his parents, Raymond and Cecilia Miller; and siblings, Joan Reycroft and Sister Virginia Miller O.P. of the Dominican Order.
Ray grew up in Merrick, Long Island. A country boy at heart, his love of the outdoors often found him fishing, clamming and eeling on the Great South Bay, playing ball on a sandlot with his buddies, or picking wild blueberries for his mother’s pies and spending holidays on his grandfather’s farm in Amityville.
Searching for a place to retire, he discovered Wilmington which reminded him of his native Long Island. He and Dolores moved to Porters Neck in 1993, where they spent many happy years enjoying new friendships and visits from their families.
Ray loved sport and learning. He was named All Scholastic in football at Chaminade Hish School, captained the baseball team at St. Bonaventure University and took his Juris Doctor from St. John’s University School of Law while playing semi-professional football, lifeguarding and clerking in a law firm to finance his education.
The Army drafted him soon after law school and he served proudly in the Counter Intelligence Corps. A matriculation at the Johns Hopkins School of International Studies in 1957 was interrupted by the lure of a legal position with U.S. Steel that took him to Caracas, Venezuela. He invited his girlfriend, Dolores Mulligan, to visit him there and during this stay they happily agreed to marry and flew to Trinidad, where they were wed in St. Anne’s Church.
With the desire to raise their daughters in the states and to be nearer their families, they left Caracas in 1964 and settled on Long Island, where Ray established a law practice in Setauket and subsequently a real estate firm. He served on the Three Village School Board, the Suffolk County Symphony Board, was president of the Long Island Board of Realtors, activities which all took a back seat to coaching his daughters’ Little League teams, teaching them tennis and fishing, and instilling in them his great love for the New York Giants.
Unkind words never passed his lips and his quiet acts of kindness made meaningful differences in many lives. Those who knew him well had deep respect for his honesty, kindness, business acumen and were recipients of his humorous family stories and his infectious laugh.
The five women in his life thought he was the most wonderful guy and loved him dearly. He will forever be in their hearts.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 16, at St. Mark Catholic Church, Eastwood Road, Wilmington. A reception will follow in the Parish Hall.
In lieu of flowers. donations can be made to Wounded Warrior Project.