Obituary : Raymond F. Billings Jr.
Raymond F. Billings Jr. died peacefully at the Martha's Vineyard Hospital on April 29. Ray was born in Oak Bluffs on July 17, 1930, the son of Raymond F. Sr. and Rita I. Billings. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Doris M. (Bettencourt) and their son Michael and his friend Janet O'Keefe of Millis. Ray also leaves his brother Donald and wife Nancy Billings of Oak Bluffs and several cousins, nephews, and nieces. Ray grew up in Oak Bluffs and graduated from the Oak Bluffs School in 1948.
Ray was the owner of Ray's Tire Service, located in Vineyard Haven for 25 years. The shop was a gathering spot for locals. In 1979, when Ray and Doris were involved in a serious automobile accident, his business never closed as his buddies ran it for him. Ray stated, "That's how you know who your friends are," and he was always grateful to them.
He was a member of the Martha's Vineyard Lion's Club, the Martha's Vineyard Antique Power Assoc., and a board member of the Tisbury Council on Aging. Ray enjoyed "puttering" in his 1931 Model A pick-up truck that he was proud to drive in the parades.
Ray retired in 2000. His plans for retirement were to spend more time with family and friends, travel, and tend to his many projects around their cozy home and garden that was admired by everyone passing by.
A funeral mass was held on May 2 at Chapman, Cole & Gleason in Oak Bluffs, with Deacon Fred Lapiana, assisted by the Rev. Raymond Introvigne, a cousin from Connecticut.