October 30, 1941 ~ January 16, 2022

Born in: New Haven, CT
Resided in: Hamden, CT

Raymond Anthony DeMeola

Husband of Virginia DeMeola

Son of Grace Apuzzo DeMeola and Raymond DeMeola

Father of Christina Grace DeMeola and Steven Raymond DeMeola.

Raymond was born on October 30, 1941, in New Haven, CT. He was an only child but spent his youth with cousins who were more like siblings, and was part of a large extended family. He graduated from Southern CT State University in 1963 with BS & MS degrees in Art Education, majoring in intaglio printmaking. He and Ginny were married in 1970 and had over 50 years of love, marriage, and a shared faith. They were each others’ best friends. They liked to joke that Ginny gives the War & Peace version of a story, while he gave the Reader’s Digest version.

Ray taught Art at Dag Hammarskjold Middle School and Mark Sheehan High School in Wallingford for 24 years. Upon his retirement from teaching, he became a sales representative for American Sign Co. and Northeast Stamp Co. He also served as President and Treasurer of the New Haven Paint & Clay Club. He returned to teaching for 12 years as a Manual Skills instructor at the Northeast Blind Rehabilitation Center at the West Haven Veterans Hospital.

Ray was never one to sit for very long, so during retirement, he volunteered with the American Red Cross, was an active member of the St. Barnabas Social Action Committee, and acted as a Director on the board of The Commons at Mill River condominium complex. He and Ginny frequently traveled to pet-sit their daughter’s dogs and help fix up her house in Chicago; he was rarely photographed there without a dog on his lap. He loved connecting with his son in Colorado on everything from technology to home repairs to football to the latest good Netflix series. He visited family in Oregon, took an Alaskan cruise, and went to Italy several times with family and friends for trips that made his always big smile even brighter.

Ray could be quiet but he was the master of puns – they came very naturally to him and would often take his family by surprise, leaving them in stitches. He enjoyed baking – maybe you were lucky enough to get some of his babka or almond coffee ring. He was an enthusiastic do-it-yourselfer who never ceased to amaze and amuse his family with his creative solutions. He enjoyed jigsaw puzzles, and the sometimes hard-earned fruits of his labor can be seen in the condo and in the lobby of their building, with selections that reflect the changing seasons.

Above all, he relished his roles of husband, father, and friend. He enormously underestimated the impact he had on the lives and hearts of so many, but his family and friends did their best to help him understand. His oncologist told his daughter that he was “beloved” to all who got to know him over the course of his cancer treatments, and this makes sense – while no one is perfect, he was the husband and father and friend that so many people long to have.

Ray is survived by his family, sister-in-law Sylvia Zunin, nephew Mike Zunin (Juhye and great-niece Emma Zunin), cousin Edward Apuzzo and family, cousin Linda Langella and family, other cousins and countless close friends.

A Mass will be held at the Church of St. Barnabas, 44 Washington Ave., North Haven on Thursday, January 20th at 12:00 Noon. Interment will be private. The family requests that you please wear a well-fitted mask over your nose and mouth at all times and appropriately distance so as to lower the risk of COVID-19 spread. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity Parish, Church of St. Barnabas, 44 Washington Ave., North Haven, CT, 06473. Please designate donations in honor of Raymond to the Social Action Committee.

Services

Mass of Christian Burial: January 20, 2022 12:00 pm

St. Barnabas Church
44 Washington Avenue
North Haven, CT 06473

203-239-5378

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Guestbook

  1. Dear Ginny
    I am so sorry to hear of Ray‘s passing I know you were very special together and the journey of grief won’t be easy but know my thoughts and prayers are with you
    Love Mary Levine

  2. Where do I begin? Ray has been an amazing part of my family since my brother Art & his wife Julie lived on Beaver Street in Hamden. The countless family events which Ginny, Ray, Christina & Steven attended will never be forgotten. My children cherished Ray, with his wit, his wisdom, and his gentle, loving nature. Our lives are forever blessed having had Ray in it. May God provide comfort to all of Ray’s loved ones during this difficult time. My deepest sympathy to Ginny, Christina and Steven.

  3. My sincerest condolences to the family. I’m praying for your strength during this difficult time. Christina thank you for being the ideal beautiful soul your parents raised you to be. I may have not known your dad personally, but through your sharing him through your posts I can truly tell he was a great guy. God bless you and your family. I love you ❤

  4. Dearest Ginny, Christina, and Steven,
    The world has lost a very special man, my heart goes out to all of you.
    I will never forget his smile and gentle nature. He will always be with you for the remainder of your days until we all are together again!
    Love ,prayers, and hugs,
    Joanne Johnson

  5. Dear Ginny and Christina,

    I am so sorry to hear of Ray’s passing. My heart breaks for what you all are going through right now. Please accept my deepest felt condolences and know that if not for the pandemic I would be there in person to support you through this. For now just know you can call any time if you need anything.

    Ray was a great man and his absence will be greatly felt. That is the highest complement we can all wish to leave behind. Ray will live on in our hearts and memories. 🙏🙏🙏

  6. I am so grateful to be counted as a friend of Ray. Our friendship has endured over 30 years. I first met Ray at a prayer group at St Barnabas. Sharing my faith with Ray over the years has been a blessing. He would often think outside the box and consequently cause me to broaden my thoughts. Through my friendship with Ray I began a wonderful friendship with Ginny. I always looked at them as a team working together to make life better for those around them. I will cherish our trips to Scranton where we made many wonderful memories through prayer and through fellowship and of course with Ray’s dry sense of humor we had many laughs. Ray was our resident plumber in Scranton; don’t know what we would have done without Ray’s ability to get a toilet to flush!
    Forever in my heart; forever grateful for the friendship and forever grateful that Ray now rests in the arms of Jesus.

  7. I did not know Raymond personally, I just knew him through his relationship with his daughter, Christina. It was always clear in her pictures and in her writings that he was a good and kind man, and a loving father and husband. May we all follow his example of leaving this earth having touched so many with love and kindness and those closest with a depth of love that will keep him close always. Rest in peace.

  8. Dear Ginny, Christina and Steven,
    Paul and I are so saddened to hear this news.
    Our deepest sympathy is extended to each of you. We will never forget Ray’s smile and kindness and an especially fun night watching Goonies complete with funny commentary from Ray. Take Care, Paul and Dianne Breen

  9. Love you Ray. Lots of good times in Hamden. Will think of you often.
    💕
    Love and thinking of you all – Ginny, Christina, and Steven.

  10. Ray was indeed a gentleman, a gentle man and an inspiration to all on how to live a life filled with God, family and friends! Just knowing him was a blessing!
    We regret that we cannot pay our respects in person as we are visiting our daughter Lisa and her husband in Tampa. Know that we are with you all in spirit.
    Much love, Al and Albina

  11. Ginny, Christina and Steven,
    Our promise of personal prayers for you to have the strength and courage to get through these difficult days. I have known Ray for over 60+ years and he always was a great guy and good friend. He is at peace with no more pain or suffering resting in the hands of our Lord. God Bless all of you.
    Love,
    Al and Linda

  12. We know with certainty that Ray is enjoying the fruits of his many joyful sacrifices and creative empowerments of young and old into living their lives with more depth and richness. He was prodigal in his giving and never considered whether he would be repaid.
    I was fortunate, as others, to have been with him and Ginny on the Scranton adventures, where it was wonderful to see him and Ginny as a team. We were blessed to have known this Renaissance man, and we will raise up in prayer and praise Ginny and family, looking forward to Scranton-esque praise meetings with all the gang on the other side.

  13. My dear Ginny and family, my deepest condolences to you. I have fond memories of Ray from SJB and our times together with Ella and Bill. I will keep you all in my prayers.

    Anita Bellmore

  14. I’m so sorry to hear of Ray’s passing. Ginny, my heart goes out to you, Christina and Steven. Sending much love – Jackie

  15. Ray, thank you for filling this world with your light and for shining and sharing that light with your family and friends.
    Christina, Steven, and Ginny, may deep love give you the courage and strength to breathe and be in this moment and the next.

  16. Ray words are inadequate to explain what you meant to me. I have always thought of you as my spiritual brother. Your support your kindness and your example of faith have truly been guidelines for me. You always would have an encouraging word and I always felt better after I spoke with you. May God wrap his arms around you and your family we will miss you terribly but we also with faith now we’re just saying goodbye for a while and we will see you again soon. Love Maureen Carr

  17. Christina expressed how much love was present within the home over the last weeks. That is truly a DeMeola legacy. Much love to you all.

  18. I am so sorry to hear of Ray’s passing. I worked closely with him during his years at the Blind Center. He was a wonderful addition to the staff and the program. He introduced a very nice artistic element into the manual skills class. He introduced working with clay that became extremely popular with the students along with painting. I recall a student who had never done anything “artistic” who found a passion inside himself he never knew he had when working with clay that Ray helped to nurture. He also had the honor to accompany a blind veteran to a national awards ceremony for the student’s paintings.
    I will always be grateful to Ray for taking me under his wing and helping to teach me many things in shop when I was being crossed trained. I often think of him when I’m teaching now.
    My sympathy to his wife and family.

  19. Ginny, Christina and Steven,
    I am so sorry for your loss. Ray was one of the most caring, giving and truly Christian men I have ever known. Your lives and our world will be much emptier without his big smile, generous nature, and loving heart. I am grateful he is finally at peace, but know the road ahead will be more difficult for you. We are blessed to have had him in our lives. My thoughts and prayers will continue to be with you all in the months to come.
    With love and prayers, Gale

  20. Ray, our minds still talk to you, our hearts still look for you, but, our souls know you are at peace, listening to Jesus say “well done good and faithful man, welcome home”.

    Ginny, My heart and prayers are with you and the family always.

  21. well all i can say the last time i saw ray was in the 1960s when my dad passed away and i was in the air force,, but he was his usual self always smiling.

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