Raymond Lee Richmond April 5, 1919 - August 10, 2019 San Diego Pearl Harbor survivor.
Ray Richmond passed away peacefully at home on August 10, 2019. He was 100 years old.
Ray was born on April 5, 1919 in Ada, Oklahoma, the eldest of six siblings from Ida and Philip Richmond.
After graduating high school, he joined the United States Navy in 1941. Ray was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma as a gunner's mate. He was on the ship in Pearl Harbor on Sunday, December 7, 1941. Struck by enemy torpedoes, the USS Oklahoma capsized and sank in less than 15 minutes. Ray escaped from below decks, jumped over the side of the sinking ship, swam across to the battleship Maryland, climbed up a rope ladder and joined the fight. Ray spent a full year in the hospital recovering from a broken hip and was not allowed to return to sea duty.
Ray was a gifted artist and his talents were put to work when he transferred to his next post in New York in December, 1942. He worked as a commercial artist for the Navy designing recruiting posters and unit logos. While in New York he met his future wife, Miriam and they married within six weeks. Ray finished his Navy career in New York and was honorably discharged in October 1945.
Mimi and Ray stayed in New York, he worked in the fine leather goods industry making inlaid leather furniture, intricate western saddles and cowboy belts. True to his roots, Ray was an avid Western and cowboy enthusiast, participating in local rodeos.
In 1950, Ray and Mimi were blessed with their only daughter, Laura. The family moved to California in 1953 and settled in San Diego in 1956. Ray started in the aerospace industry as a master model maker with Convair and General Dynamics.
Ray also joined the San Diego Police Reserves in 1961, and retired as a Lieutenant in 1977. He later retired from General Dynamics in 1988.
Ray spent much of his retirement enjoying time with family, friends, and shipmates, and was a very active member in the Pearl Harbor Survivor Association, Carnation Chapter 3. Ray attended reunions for the USS Oklahoma, Pearl Harbor memorials in Oahu, and participated in local events, parades and school visits.
Ray's final years were blessed with a team of "angels" led by Stella and joined by Celina, Genet and Desta who cared for Ray and Mimi with love and dignity. Mimi passed away in 2015.
Survived by his daughter Laura (Richmond) Alioto, son-in-law John Alioto, grandchildren Greg Alioto (spouse Devon), and Melissa Murfey (spouse Scott) and six great-grandchildren, Sofia, Mara, Carl, Sam, Laird and Ryder.