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Raymond Reid Shockey

March 31, 1940 February 19, 2021
Raymond Reid Shockey
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Obituary for Raymond Reid Shockey

Corvallis- Raymond Reid Shockey finished his last race on Friday, February 19, 2021, passing away peacefully after a prolonged illness while being cared for by his wife, Deborah, and son, Carey, in his home in Corvallis, Oregon. He was 80. 

A West Coast native and lifelong advocate for publicly-owned utilities, Ray initially followed his father, Buck, and mother, Janet, into working for Seattle City Light. Over the next fifty years, Ray went from a meter reader and electrical engineer, to manager of the Ipswich Electric Light Department and president of the Massachusetts Wholesale Electric Corporation. Along the way, he showed himself as adept at organizing a unit of the Professional and Technical Engineers Association, Local 17, as he was at winning office football pools (despite rarely watching a game). He also had a role in starting several companies, including consulting alongside his best friend, Bill Koch. Ever the dedicated student, Ray even earned a well-deserved bachelor's degree after only thirty years of study and a well-written thesis paper. 

Of course, man is not defined by career, alone. A reluctant veteran, Ray did a three-year stint in the U.S. Marine Corps as a radio operator prior to City Light —enlisting while the rest of the family was on vacation, much to his mother’s shock. Not content with normal ways to waste time and money, Ray also developed a passion for auto racing and spent many long days as a journeyman driver behind the wheels of a string of fast Formula Fords, Lotuses, MGBs, and his beloved Datsun 240Zs. A foray into skydiving was less successful, culminating in a broken ankle that was almost as painful as his time on the City of Amesbury’s Planning Board. The one constant through it all: a music collection providing a soundtrack from bebop to bluegrass. 

Dearest to his heart, however, was always Ray’s family and friends. Eldest of the trio of “RayReidStan,” he took great pride in being the best possible bad example for his two siblings. Despite one false start involving a day-long proposal at the Comet Tavern that he turned down, Ray loved Deborah with all his heart and wrote her a poem every five years (give or take) of their thirty-seven year marriage. Ray was also a genuine and caring father to Carey, reliably showing up in a battered Red Sox hat to change tires, drink beer, and dispense sparse words of sage wisdom. Through it all, Ray made no shortage of friends—at the racetrack, the Winston, Amesbury, Corvallis, and beyond—with his quiet, kind disposition, sense of humor, and considered concern for the poor and powerless. 

He leaves behind too many people to list here (please don’t feel excluded) and would already be embarrassed at being lauded at great length. While we wait for a post-COVID memorial at Pacific Raceways, everyone is encouraged to have a lobster roll, a beer, or some fried Dungeness Crab in his memory.

In lieu of flowers, and because Ray was bi-coastal, donations can be directed to Our Neighbors Table in Amesbury, MA (see https://www.ourneighborstable.org), The Jordan Shay Memorial Foundation also in Amesbury, MA at https://www.sgtjordanmshaymemorialfoundation.org/donate/ ),The Pike Place Market Foundation (see https://pikeplacemarketfoundation.org), Samaritan Evergreen Hospice (https://www.samhealth.org/giving) and Lumina Hospice, Corvallis Oregon (https://www.luminahospice.org/get-involved/donate/donation-form/).

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