Ray Michaud, 83, passed away on August 15 th, 2020 at home with the support of his family, after a progressive stretch of congestive heart failure.
Ray was born to Michel Michaud and Alice Demers in November 1936 in Berlin, NH. He grew up an only child on Berlin’s East side in a working class family, guided by a mother with an enormously caring and generous spirit and a father with a chiseled approach to work and life. Ray married Rita Jutras in November 1956; they were married for 58 years until her passing. Ray and Rita raised four children in their Gendron Street home in Berlin where he refined his handyman skills with many significant renovations. Ray used to do his best work when Rita was at bingo, starting projects before she could say ‘no’, and one night she returned home to find him wielding a chainsaw in the house taking down a wall.
Ray lived life on his own terms with a big heart. He enjoyed introducing his kids to the outdoors through skiing, fishing, and snow machining. A family tradition included him and Richard “Cockeye” Delisle taking the kids fishing ‘up the river’ late into the evening, which inevitably ended with Rita finding a bathtub full of hornpout the next morning. Ray enjoyed diet Coke, gas station cappuccinos, and vodka, not necessarily in that order, but he loved nothing more than his wife and family. He always provided for his family, selling insurance, co-founding the White Mountain Dairy with Don Bisson, and distributing Eagle Snacks. Widely known across the North Country, Ray had a reputation for his friendly and caring nature. He drove thousands of miles over the years just stopping in to chat with folks, with many unique cars, from a VW bug in the 60s to the Geo tracker in the early 2000s, always with a stack of fully read newspapers in the trunk. Whether he was visiting Sam Garneau and friends at Success Pond or the White Mountain Distributors crew, everyone was met with the same greeting: a toothpick nestled tightly to the corner of a wide grin as he yelled “Comment ça va!”.
Known to his grandchildren as “Papa”, as he got older observing their growth into adults, he would often take their hand with conviction, look them in the eye and say “I love you and I am SO PROUD OF YOU”. He would gleam with pride and unsuccessfully attempt to hold back a tear. He was in awe of his great grandchildren and could usually only muster the phrase “Oh Ma Gawd”, as he was enamored watching them play. His heart had to work so hard over a lifetime of giving so much love to his family and friends, it’s amazing it lasted as long as it did.
Ray lives on in his children Patti Parks, Paulette King and her significant other Cliff, Paul Michaud; grandchildren Kasey Parks, Brittany Marcotte and her husband Travis, Brandon King and his wife Kathryn, Amy Michaud, Jay Michaud and his wife Katie, great-grandchildren Isabella, Reilly, Leona, Lillian, Camden, Cole, and Talan.
Ray was predeceased by his wife Rita, son Peter, and granddaughter Molly.
There will be graveside service on Saturday August 29 th, 2020 at 11 am at St. Anne’s Cemetery in Berlin, NH. Reflecting on a life well lived, Ray’s mother, Alice, would have said it best, “We made it good.”
You are invited to share a memory of Ray with the family or leave a message of condolence in the family guest book at www.royfuneralhome.com.
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