Raymond B. 'Ray' Baggs
Oct. 27, 1942 - April 23, 2023
On April 23, 2023, Raymond B. "Ray" Baggs, loving husband and father of three children, died at the age of 80.
Ray, called by a friend "a gentleman and a scholar," was born Oct. 27, 1942 in San Mateo, Calif., and spent some of his childhood in the state. His family moved to Virginia, where they purchased a small farm. He crossed the country to attend Reed College in Oregon, where he earned his B.S. in chemistry, worked on the pickle-barrel reactor, drove the Mount Hood ski bus, and met his future wife Judith. Ray and Judith married June 3, 1962 and celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary last year. After graduation the young couple spent a year in Eastern Washington before moving to California.
Ray's love of animals and interest in research led him to UC Davis, California where he received his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine. After the birth of their sons, Aaron and Joshua, the family moved to Massachusetts where Ray continued his studies at MIT for a PhD in Nutritional Pathology as well as a Veterinary Residency at Angell Animal Medical Center. Their daughter Kassandra joined the family in Massachusetts. The family moved to Ithaca, then Rochester, N.Y. After 30 years teaching and consulting as a veterinary pathologist at the University of Rochester Ray retired when Judith took a new position in Portland. He found a post-retirement role at Oregon State University as Attending Veterinarian.
Ray had a lifelong love of teaching, learning, and the outdoors. For many years he enjoyed lake fishing, trolling, even ice fishing on the Finger Lakes. He tended a bountiful vegetable and dahlia garden and was an excellent chef. His breads and sourdough waffles were particularly loved. Ray became an accomplished woodworker, crafting everything from beds to bookshelves, tables, desks, and a breakfast nook. Ray traveled the country to find just the right wood for furniture. He drove across the U.S. many times and was an enthusiastic traveler whether by car, truck, RV or motorcycle. He loved music, from Miles Davis and the Rolling Stones to classical music, and collected a variety of obscure recordings he listened to while exercising. Ray was an exceptional storyteller who could converse about nearly any topic, especially delighting his grandchildren. His children remember him as a man of great wisdom who loved and cared for his family.
Ray was preceded in death by his brother, Jerry; his father, Chester; and his mother, Evelyn. He is survived by his wife, Judith; his children, Aaron (Lisa), Joshua (Janet), and Kassandra; grandchildren, Myles, Zachary, and Allison; and several nieces and nephews.
No public service will be held, and donations may be made to ACLU, Planned Parenthood, or Southern Poverty Law Center.