Ray Jarecki, resident of Orcas Island for 20 years, died at Skagit Valley Hospital on May 25, 2012.
He was born in Pasadena, Calif. on May 14, 1935 and resided there until 1988 when business took him to Tampa, Fla. and Houston, Tex. each for 2 years. He and his wife, Diane, moved to Orcas in 1992 upon retirement.
Ray graduated from University of Southern California in 1960 with a degree in Economics and Finance. After graduation he worked for a short time in the financial department at Gladding-McBean and then went to work for Transit Mixed Concrete Colo. in Los Angeles. Within three years he became CFO and was largely instrumental in transforming the company into one of the largest ready mixed concrete companies in Southern California. Eventually, he and his partner bought the company from the original family and after several years sold it to Southdown a leading producer of cement. Ray remained with Southdown for 4 years as President of their ready-mixed branch in the southeast and southwest.
Ray married Diane Reynholds in 1961, having know her since 1952 as he was one her brother’s best friends. In 1967, Bob, Ray’s son by a previous marriage, made his home with Ray and Diane.
Ray was a very accomplished seaman. He and Diane bought their first racing sloop in 1966 and actively raced until 1988. During that time he raced in nearly all Southern California yachting events both local and offshore. They also cruised their own boat or chartered in Mexico, the Windward and Leeward Islands and the BVIs. After moving to Orcas Island, they cruised their powerboat, Avanti, extensively in local waters and in Alaska, Mexico and British Columbia.
Ray was very involved with the Orcas Island Yacht Club serving as Commodore in 1997. He felt strongly that sailing was a very important activity for young people and founded the Junior Sailing Program in 1996. This is a summer program aimed at teaching sailing techniques to children ages 7-15. Many of the young people who are introduced to sailing via the Junior Program go on to race competitively with the Sail Orcas club team of Orcas High School. The Junior Sailing Program is administered by Sail Orcas.
Ray also was concerned about providing medical care for those on Orcas who, through no fault of their own, were uninsured or underinsured. He established the Medical Assistance Program to provide funds to help pay for care at the Orcas Medical Center. The MAP is administered by the Orcas Medical Foundation.
Ray is survived by his wife Diane, son Bob, brother Jan, brother-in-law and wife Richard and Marilyn Reynholds and several nephews and nieces and many friends. A memorial service will be announced at a later date. Memorial donations may be given to Sail Orcas – Junior Sailing Program, Orcas Medical Foundation – MAP, or to a charity of your choice.
Submitted by Ray Jarecki’s family.