Raymond A. Nelson
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Raymond Albert Nelson 1936 - 2013. Ray was born in Seattle on June 2, 1936 and passed away unexpectedly on October 7, 2013. Ray grew up in the Seattle area, near Green Lake. As a young teenager, he had an entrepreneurial spirit and earned spending money by driving an ice cream wagon around Green Lake in the summer.
In his later teenage years, he worked as a full time baker while attending high school. At the age of 16 Ray was named the youngest journeyman baker in the United States.
After high school, Ray began his career as a longshoreman on the Seattle waterfront following in his father’s footsteps. Eventually, he decided that he wanted to earn a college degree.
He combined work and school for approximately 10 years and finally achieved his goal at the age of 51, graduating from Western Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in International Business and Human Services.
He continued to work for SSA but in the International division, which gave him the opportunity to work and travel to India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Panama and Peru.
Ray had an immense love of travel so when he was not working abroad he spent his vacations traveling around the globe.One of his travel highlights was a study cruise around the world, which happened shortly after China was opened to western travel, and of course China was on the itinerary.Ray worked in Peru for a number of years and eventually bought a house in Mollendo, where he met his wife Eliana Valdivia Munoz.
He considered himself fortunate to spend his winters in Peru with Eliana and summers at his home in Kirkland. Ray had an adventuresome spirit so when he was not traveling, he loved to hike or take long walks with his buddies.
He explored various trails around the Pacific Northwest as well as trails in or around the city of Seattle. Each morning while in Peru, he took long walks on the beach in Mollendo.
If you visited Ray in Peru, you joined him for a walk on the beach. A large part of Ray’s life was being a member of the Unitarian Church.
He involved himself in the activities of the church and especially enjoyed attending week-long camps at Seabeck Conference Center on Hoods Canal, with his daughters. He continued this tradition with his grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Ray was known at Seabeck for his love of children, his infectious laugh, and his generosity for treating the entire camp to ice cream every year. Ray is survived by his wife, Eliana; his brother Rob and wife Sheila; three daughters, Julia, Nelda and Heidi; a neice Kristin and nephew Mark; grandchildren Acacia, Alena, Nate and Holly; and his six grandchildren Makiah, Lyric, Kahloni, Kane, Paisley & Evey. Additionally, Ray leaves behind his numerous friends all over the world.
He touched the lives of many individuals who will remember him for his kindness, his generosity, his sense of humor and for his adventurous spirit. He will be missed!A “Celebration of Life” will be held November 2, 2013 at 1:00 pm at:
University Unitarian Church
We will gather in the Sanctuary and hope you will join us for a brief service and to share favorite memories or stories of Ray. The Reverend Jon Luopa will preside. In keeping with Ray’s love of food, a light appetizer buffet will be served after the “Celebration”. If you care to bring an appetizer to share, it would be appreciated, but certainly not required.
After the buffet we will have ice cream for all, in the spirit of Ray. If you would like to share photos of Ray to be used in the service, the family has created a photo-sharing site at: