Cover photo for Raymond Stein's Obituary
Raymond Stein Profile Photo
1921 Raymond 2013

Raymond Stein

July 4, 1921 — July 31, 2013

Raymond (Ray) Stein, former resident of El Macero/Davis, CA passed away unexpectedly but peacefully at age 92, on July 31, 2013 at his home in Sparks, NV where he had been living with his daughter and son in law, Virginia and David Simi. He was a resident of the Davis area until 2010. He moved to Sparks in 2010 after the death of his dear wife, Mary in 2009. Ray was born on July 4th, 1921 in Minneapolis Minn. He lived in several states and with several families during the depression including a foster home in Peoria, Illinois with his dear sisters, Clarice and Virginia, after the death of their mother, Ida (Wopio), as their father could no longer care for them. Ray (Ollie) and his sisters moved with their dad Raymond O. Stein, Sr. to Houston, Texas in 1939. Enlisting in the US Navy at age 17, Ray served honorably and bravely during World War II in the Atlantic as a Chief Signalman on the USS Ranger from 1940-1943. As soon as the opportunity arose he volunteered for submarine service and was transferred to the New London Conn. Sub training base where he was assigned to the USS Pollack (SS-180). While stationed in New London he met his future wife, Mary Ellen (Waldraff), of Providence RI. They were married in 1943 in Providence. Ray, (ROSCO) remained in the submarine service until the end of the war on patrol in the Pacific and South China Sea as a Chief Signalman and Official Submarine Photographer aboard the USS-Tirante (SS-420). As a submariner he took advantage of the opportunity to learn 16MM motion picture photography. Training was provided by a Hollywood studio at a training center established on an island in the Pacific. With his new skills, Ray did double duty as signalman and photographer on the Tirante. Much of the film he shot was actually used in the motion picture "Victory at Sea" about the submarine Pacific campaigns. Following the end of the war Ray and Mary and their infant daughter Virginia moved from Providence to Los Angeles, CA to join Ray's father, Raymond O. Stein Sr. in his real estate business. Taking advantage of the GI bill, Ray then enrolled at USC in 1945. He graduated from USC with a BS in Geology in 1949 and 4 children under the age of 5. Following graduation he went to work for Rothschild Oil Co in Santa Fe Springs, CA. and later Santa Fe Drilling Co. His job as petroleum geologist took him all over the west including Baker, Montana while his growing young family stayed at home in the Los Angeles, area. The kids eagerly awaiting his return home especially given that he often brought back treasures for them like Navaho dolls, silver dollars and live horned toads! The family then moved to Fullerton, CA in 1954. In the early 60's the family moved again to Modesto, CA when Ray and an associate (Barney Aggers) started their own business in the gas patch of the CA central valley. During the boom years of the 60's the business thrived but in the late 60's and early 70's "bust" years, times were tough. Ray did anything and everything he could do to support himself and his family including life insurance sales, investments in candy vending machines and even substitute high school English and Math teaching until the economy and the demand for natural gas rose again in the early 70's when the family moved to Davis (El Macero) where the family and the company flourished. Throughout his long and successful career Ray was a highly respected Petroleum Engineer as founder and President of his company, Methane Engineering, Inc. which was located in Davis, CA from 1970-2007. Throughout his life, Ray was interested in many things especially education, geology, music, nature, fishing, hunting and the great outdoors. He was always resourceful and determined to be successful in everything he did. He was a stickler for proper grammar and correct spelling and could be intimidating to those who didn't understand him or really knew him but in truth he was a loving, generous and thoughtful man who was dearly loved and respected by his family, close friends, fellow shipmates and business associates. He had a wry sense of humor and loved to sing with his strong tenor voice. He did all he could to be there when he was needed by his children, nieces and grandchildren and anyone else that needed a helping hand. Ray had a great sense of adventure and saw much of the world both during and after his tour of duty during WWII. In 1964 he traveled to Indonesia, at the request of the US State Dept. and then returned to Davis via Bombay, Tel Aviv, Rome, Paris and San Francisco. In 1978 he went with People to People International, on a technical exchange visit, to China and Mongolia and then to Russia in 1991 on a Cultural Exchange Mission. He and Mary took several international trips as well. They traveled to Europe including England, Italy, Germany and the USSR. They also toured parts of Austria, Switzerland, Turkey, Greece and the Vatican. Their last trip was a cruise which included the Red Sea after visits to Athens, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Aqaba, and Petra in Jordan. They cruised through the Suez Canal and visited Cairo on the Nile, the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. They saw the Egyptian Temples of Luxor and Karnack and the Tombs of Ramses and Tutankhamen as well. And, that was before they sailed south to Africa where they went on a photo safari. They visited Australia including Sydney and Perth and New Zealand as well as other countries and much of the USA. While living in El Macero, both Mary and Ray were active members of St. James Catholic Church. While in Modesto they were active members of Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church. Ray was an active member of many social clubs and service organizations such as the Elks Club in Woodland. He was a dedicated member of the Submarine Veterans of WW II. He was also a member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, the "Gas Patch Gang", the USC Alumni Association, the American Legion and the National Republican Party Task Force. He enjoyed golf at El Macero Country Club where he was a member for many years. And, until the age of 70, he was an avid snow skier, a sport he grew to love late in life. Ray is survived by his children Virginia (David) Simi, Christina Dal Porto (Jefferson), Karen Stein, Cynthia Stein (David Dailey), and Stephen (Elizabeth) Stein; his 6 grandchildren, Regina Jakowiack , Patrick Simi, Jason Dal Porto, Genesee Dal Porto, Wesley Stein and Nicholas Stein; his 5 great grandchildren; Steven Simi, Emile Simi, Danielle Jakowiack, Genevieve Jakowiack and Teagan Dal Porto, as well as his nieces Adele McGuane, Kathy McGuane, Laurel Stolpe and his nephew Eric Stolpe along with his dear cousins Jan (Ray) Standberg and Mary Lou (Marty) Kienitz as well as his brother in law Stanley Stolpe and Mary's sister Virginia Waldraff. His family will dearly miss our own "Yankee Doodle Dandy". The 4th of July and our lives are forever changed now that he has "laid down his oar", though we know, since he died on his 70th Wedding Anniversary, he has gone on to be reunited with our mom and our brothers, Raymond Wesley Stein, and Kenneth Michael Stein who passed on before him. Please join us to celebrate his life and his everlasting peace. A Funeral Mass will be held at the Holy Spirit Catholic Church, 3159 Land Park Drive, in Sacramento, at 10 AM on Sat August 10, 2013. A burial service will follow the Mass at the Davis Cemetery on Pole Line Rd. A reception will be held at the Holy Spirit Catholic Church center following the burial. There will also be a Vigil at 7:00 PM after Visitation from 5:30 to 7:00 PM at the Wiscombe Funeral Home, 116 D. St. in Davis, on Friday evening August 9th. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to make a contribution in Ray's honor may want to consider a donation to Father Flannigan's Boys Town, (, Wounded Warrior Project, ( ) or a charity of your choice.

Previous Events

Friday, August 9, 2013
Smith Funeral Home - Davis

116 D Street
Davis, CA 95616

Mass of Christian Burial
Saturday, August 10, 2013
10:00 AM
Holy Spirit Catholic Church

3159 Land Park Drive
Sacramento, CA 95818

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