Raymond L. Gravelle
MERRIMACK – Raymond L. Gravelle, age 74, passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on Friday January 20, 2017 at Merrimack Community Hospice House from esophageal cancer.
He was born on September 30, 1942, in Houlton, Maine, the first son of the late William Leo Gravel and Armelina (Robichaud) Gravel. He graduated from Houlton High School in 1961 and immediately joined the U.S. Navy where he served 8 years of active duty, including time aboard both the USS Kennebec (AO-36) and the USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63). When he left active duty, Ray joined the Naval Reserves until moving to Augusta, Maine, where he transferred to the Maine Army National Guard Reserves, serving a total of 22½ years in the military. Ray took advantage of the G.I. Bill to earn an Associate’s Degree in Transportation Management from Bunker Hill Community College. He met his wife of 38 years, Denise (Tremblay) Gravelle at a square dance. They started dancing together 6 days a week, and their courtship lasted 3 years.
His first job after college was working for Digital Equipment Corporation in their new plant in Augusta, Maine, as a shipper/receiver. Ray & Denise were married soon after & lived there for 15 years with their 3 children. When DEC started downsizing, Ray moved his family to Merrimack, NH where he lived the remainder of his life. Prior to his retirement in 2013, Ray worked for Securitas as a security officer, the last 10 years for the Union Leader in Manchester, NH.
Ray spent many years researching genealogy and was a volunteer for the American-Canadian Genealogical Society in Manchester, NH. He was very proud that he traced his family tree all the way back to France. In his later years, Ray enjoyed traveling. He and his wife attended several USS Kennebec reunions around the country. He also enjoyed teasing his grandchildren & spending time with all his beloved family.
In addition to his wife, Denise (Tremblay) Gravelle, he is survived by his three children, Grace LaChapelle and her husband Scott of Northampton, MA, Karen Roe and her husband, Bill, of Merrimack, NH, and Steven Gravelle & his wife, Sara Nye, of Philadelphia, PA; 2 grandchildren, Melody and Noah Roe of Merrimack; a sister, Joan McAfee and her husband, Mike, of Houlton, ME; 3 brothers, Nick Gravelle and his wife Sally, of Lexington Park, MD; William Gravelle and his wife Betty, of Old Orchard Beach, ME, and Charles Gravel and his wife Dorothy, of Auburn, ME; and many nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews.
Calling hours will be held in the RIVET FUNERAL HOME, 425 D.W. Highway in Merrimack, NH on Tuesday, January 24, 2017 from 4-7 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, January 25, 2017 at St. John Neumann Catholic Community, 708 Milford Rd, Merrimack, NH. Internment will be in the NH Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen, NH at 1:30 PM. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Canadian Genealogical Society, 4 Elm Street, Manchester, NH (please include his name on check memo). To share your thoughts and memories of Ray, please visit www.rivetfuneralhome.com.