Raymond Francis Hasek, a former resident of Davis for 47 years, passed away in Woodland on August 16, 2017, at age 100.
Ray was born in Cleveland, Ohio on August 14, 1917, the son of Frank George Hasek and Edna Marie Eigner. He grew up in the city, but enjoyed summers in the country “on the farm” with family and friends. He was a 1935 graduate of West Technical High School, and went on to earn his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees in Plant Science from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. In 1950 he came to California, where he worked for Mount Eden Nursery in Alameda county until 1956, coordinating cut flower production and developing a soil testing lab. During his time at Mount Eden, he met his future wife, Nancy Jane Loudon, who worked in the shipping department. Ray and Nancy were married in June of 1957, and that same year Ray started his own company, the Tierra Buena Laboratory Soil Testing and Consulting Service in Fremont, which he operated for 10 years. While living in Fremont, Ray and Nancy’s daughter Mary was born in 1961, and son Ken was born in 1962. The family moved to Davis in 1967, and Ray joined the Department of Environmental Horticulture at UC Davis, working as a Floriculture Extension Specialist until his retirement in 1985. In 1986, Ray was asked to run the office for the California Floral Council, a position he accepted and held until 1993. He received many awards and honors during his career, including being named Man of the Year for the California State Florists Association in 1978 and his induction into the California Ornamental Research Federation Hall of Fame in 1987.
After his retirement, Ray and Nancy traveled extensively, with their favorite destination being Ireland. They eventually built a summer house there on an old family homestead in County Sligo, and spent 13 summers enjoying their beautiful home by the sea until Nancy’s death in 2005.
Ray was a fan of 49er football and Oakland A’s baseball, liked to go fishing or play a casual round of golf now and then in his younger years, and was a talented accordion and piano player. He enjoyed Czech and German food, good wine, and a gin and tonic for “happy hour” every evening before dinner. He had a lifelong love of dogs, and made sure to always have a supply of treats on hand for his canine friends. He lived a long and full life, and we will miss his humor and kindness.
Ray was preceded in death by his parents Frank and Edna Hasek, mother-in-law Genevieve Loudon, and his beloved wife Nancy Hasek.
He is survived by his daughter Mary Egle (Jeffery Salwasser) of Shaver Lake, son Kenneth Hasek of Arroyo Grande, former daughter-in-law Kathie Hasek and her mother Pam Fricia of San Luis Obispo, and cousin Gladys Hasek of North Olmsted, Ohio. He is also survived by grandchildren Annie Jones of Everett, Washington, Emily Egle of Sacramento, Derek Egle of Knights Landing, and Taylor and Tanner Hasek of Arroyo Grande.
We would like to thank the Garcia Family and staff at Gloria’s Country Care in Woodland for the loving care they provided Ray for the past 3 years, and Yolo Hospice for their support during Ray’s final weeks.
A celebration of life will be held later in September.