Thursday, January 24, 2013

Ray Black Passes Away

   M. RAY BLACK, 95, long-time resident of Harwood, MD and beloved husband of Anna Casey for 63 years, died on January 22, 2013.
    Ray was born in Pennsylvania and enjoyed a rural-agrarian upbringing with his brother in the Juniata neighborhood of industrial Altoona. He spent summers working on the farms of his grandparents.
    Ray was preceded in death by his father, Raymond, his mother, Lessie and brother Ronald. Ray was deeply saddened in hearing of the tragic death in July 2012 of his doting Pennsylvania cousin, Larry; perhaps they commiserate now over some verdant Penn meadow brimming with children and family fellowship. Ray is survived by Anna; his five children, Susan (Michael Duff), Kathleen (Todd Redlin), Julie (William Carlson), Daniel (Marie White) and David (Lisa); grandchildren, Trevor (Emi), Andrew (Kourtney), Brian (Liv), Lindsey, Bridget (Rob), Allison (Jeff), Rena, Emmet, Patricia, Kerry, Margaret Mary, Katie, Casey, and Rory; and great-grandchildren, Ainsley, Adelaide, and Benjamin; a niece and nephews.
    Ray migrated to Washington D.C. to work for the federal government where he met Anna while working at the Bureau of Census. After serving in the
Army during WWII, Ray returned to the federal government, eventually ending a long career at the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.
    He then fulfilled a life's dream in retiring from federal service to his beloved All Seasons Farm, to sink his Pennsylvania roots in Anne Arundel soil. It is from his gardens, with the beautiful tomatoes he would never eat, the watermelons and blueberries which nurture and entertain his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, that he derived much pleasure and satisfaction.
    Ray was an avid follower of popular culture and politics. As an enthusiastic reader, he read two daily papers, and was a fan of autobiographies. After many years of trying to convince Ray that spending a sunny fall afternoon indoors was a good idea, Anna was able to convert him into an enthusiastic Redskins fan. He possessed an enlightened world view and was intolerant of unkindness and thoughtlessness.
    While raising his children, Ray was a doting and creative father who customized his children's spaces, and who never stopped upgrading and decorating in his inimitable and uniquely homespun way. In later years, Ray delighted in adapting his love of decorative arts to the manufacturing of greeting cards which regularly and humorously warmed the hearts of family and friends; in fact his industry is such that some may yet enjoy a posthumous birthday greeting. What sustained Ray was chasing idleness, most happily done in the out-of-doors. He was a great appreciator of all trappings of farm life, admiring handsome horses, well-kept fences, all manner of tractors or the breathtaking green of young alfalfa. He loved Irish music and culture with which he indoctrinated his offspring. He will be remembered as a man of curiosity, industry, humor and grace. The family is grateful to his doctors, nurses and care-givers at Anne Arundel Medical Center.
    Friends are invited to Ray's Life Celebration from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday, January 25 at the George P. Kalas Funeral Home, 2973 Solomons Island Road, Edgewater, MD. A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, January 26 at Holy Family Catholic Church, 826 W. Central Avenue, Davidsonville, MD. Interment Resurrection Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Arbor Day Foundation, 100 Arbor Avenue, Nebraska City, NE 68410. An online guestbook is available at

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