In Memory of Raymond Kenneth McEliece

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Raymond McEliece
Raymond McEliece Raymond McEliece Raymond McEliece Raymond McEliece

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Service Date:   December 14, 2015, 2:00 pm

Date of Birth:   October 14, 1926

Date of Death:   December 1, 2015

Service Type:   Graveside

Life Legacy:
Raymond McEliece was born on October 14, 1926 in McKeesport, Pennsylvania and passed away from cancer on December 1, 2015. He graduated from Swissvale High School at age 17 & joined the US Navy. He served on the USS Rockingham during WWII as a crewman on a Fast Attack Transport that saw action in Okinawa, Japan. His ship experienced many enemy attacks, witnessing the sinking by a suicide/kamikaze plane of the nearby SS Canada Victory. Ray received the Pacific Theater Ribbon, the American Theater Ribbon and Victory Medal for his service, receiving an honorable discharge in May 1946. After the war, Ray returned home to Pennsylvania for a few years and in 1950, along with his brother Bill, joined the US Airforce hoping to be a Pilot. The brothers were in boot camp together, but the Korean War had just begun and Bill was sent overseas, while Raymond was able to stay state-side, stationed in South Dakota as a mechanic on the initial B-52 Bomber program. While serving in the US Airforce, his squad was delivering a transporter plane to England and also conducted reconnaissance off the coast of Portugal. It was on this trip in 1953 to England that he met Heather May Clarke at a Cotillion at the Rex Ballroom in Cambridge, England. They married on September 20, 1954. After a few moves from Ohio to Seattle to Delaware, back to Ohio, they eventually settled in Renton, Washington where he worked at the Boeing Company and raised his family. He was asked to join the company's AOG [aircraft on ground] crew and traveled to locations all over the world. He was proud of his invitation to the elite crew, but would never say so. He retired from the Boeing Company after 35 years of service in 1991. He was predeceased by his wife of 55 years, Heather McEliece and his daughter Maureen McEliece. He is survived by his son Michael (Carolyn), his daughters Mary Tollman (Dave) and Lisa Perry, grandchildren, Heather, Ryan, Shayna, Kelsey, Kari, Zachary & Karli; four great-grandsons, Mikey, Keegan. Ethan Raymond and Jack and 2 great granddaughters, Josie and Eva. Dad and Papa, we are so very proud of your life and what a blessing you were to our lives. A graveside service will be held at Tahoma National Cemetery, Monday, December 14th at 2:00pm with a Celebration of Life Reception to follow at Maplewood Golf in Renton.

Messages of Condolence:

"I loved living next door to Ray. He was always so friendly and a comfortable neighbor to have. I will miss hearing him call out for "Ricky", whom we nicknamed "Little Ricky" Jennifer"
- Jennifer Stachowiak

"Our condolences to the family. I worked many years with Ray at Boeing and traveled with him many times on AOG trips. He was a great friend and I will mess his great sense of humor……..RIP."
- Rich Flattum

"Cousin, we will miss you greatly. What an amazing life you led and what a wonderful family you and Heather put here. Fair winds and following seas my Navy friend. The world is in your debt."
- Robert McEliece

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