Raymond J. Biegay, 89, of Auburn, passed away on Saturday, January 14, 2016 at UMass Hospital in Worcester, surrounded by loving family. His beloved wife of fifty-two years, Statia Alice (Smola) Biegay, predeceased him.
Raymond is survived by his two daughters, Paula B. Huggard and her husband James of Auburn, and Karen F. Thornton and her husband Craig of Sutton; and a sister, Statia M. Biegay of Auburn. He leaves four beloved granddaughters, Emma Huggard of Auburn, Laura Huggard of Arlington, VA, Caitlin Thornton of Sutton, and Amanda Bailey in England. He also leaves many nieces and nephews, including Patricia Janaitis and Helen Hurley, who kept him stocked with Polish delicacies. Raymond was predeceased by four siblings, Stanley Biegay, Joseph Biegay, Helen Janaitis, and Wanda Fairbrother. He was born in Worcester, son of the late Joseph F. and Marianna (Drenzek) Biegay.
Raymond grew up on Ward Street in Worcester. His parish was Our Lady of Czestochowa, and he attended St. Mary’s Elementary School.
Raymond enlisted at 17 and served his nation proudly in the United States Navy. He was stationed in Norfolk, VA and traveled the world on the USS Wyandot. He gained credit while serving and received his diploma from Commerce High School in June of 1946. After his discharge, he graduated from the Worcester School of Business Science in 1951, and reenlisted the following year. His second tour saw him back on the USS Wyandot, with much time spent at the naval station in Argentia, Newfoundland.
Raymond met the love of his life, Statia Smola, in between tours, and they were married at St. Mary’s Church in Jefferson, MA on August 11, 1956. They moved to Auburn, raised their family, and were together until her death in 2009. He worked for thirty years at Commonwealth Gas Company, retiring in 1990. He was a faithful parishioner at St. Joseph’s in Auburn.
Raymond had many hobbies throughout his life, including cross country skiing, jogging, ice skating, rollerblading, reading, chess and walking. He was a season ticket holder for Holy Cross football and basketball games for decades. In his retirement years he was the biggest booster in the lives of his granddaughters, cheering them on at every concert, dance recital, soccer and basketball game. Their interests became his interests, and he cherished every moment he spent with them. He loved meeting people and his kindness and good humor garnered him many friends. He was always very appreciative of the slightest thing done for him. His motto was to enjoy life, and he did that every day of his 89 years.
In appreciation for wonderful and compassionate care at UMASS Medical Center, in 2003 Raymond gifted his body to the UMASS Medical School for research.
A Memorial Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, January 21, at 11:00 a.m. at Our Lady of the Angels Church, 1222 Main Street, Worcester. He will be interred beside Statia, at Hillside Cemetery, Auburn, at a later date.
There are no calling hours.
The family requests that flowers be omitted and instead donations may be made in Ray’s memory to the American Heart Association, PO Box 417005, Boston, MA 02241.
Mercadante Funeral Home & Chapel, Worcester, is assisting his family with arrangements.