Raymond Peter Naton passed away in Bonita Springs, Florida on January 12, 2020. Beloved husband, father, brother and patriarch of his family, Ray was born in 1936 to Peter A. Naton and Katherine (Reilly) Naton in Queens, New York. He attended Saint Mary’s High School in Manhasset, New York, where he was captain of the basketball team. He received a basketball scholarship to St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont. While at St. Michael’s, Ray commanded the ROTC wing in his senior year and was awarded the most distinguished cadet officer award. Graduating with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics, Ray entered the U.S. Air Force in 1958.
Ray served in the Air Force for 13 years, stationed in Massachusetts, California and Nebraska as part of the Strategic Air Command. While in the Air Force, Ray’s daughter, Michaela, was born from his first marriage. Deciding to return to civilian life, Ray joined the Strathmore Paper Company and moved to Wilmington, DE where he met his wife, Ruth. Ray worked in the paper industry for the next 30 years, retiring in 1999 from International Paper as National Sales Manager. During this time, their two children, Erik and Kristina, were born.
After their children began college, Ray and Ruth traveled throughout the world, covering every continent. They purchased a home in Bonita Springs in 2005, spending winters playing golf there and enjoying summers in Wilmington.
Ray especially enjoyed sharing the stories of his adventures and travels and stayed in constant contact with his family members, friends and former classmates and colleagues, both in the military and industry. Ray loved all sports and especially enjoyed being on the golf course! He stated many times that he was blessed to have such a wonderful life and family.
Ray is survived by his beloved wife of 44 years, Ruth, his three children, Michaela Naton Johnson (Thad), Erik Naton (Tanya), and Kristina Naton Duff (Andrew), seven grandchildren, his sister, Cathy Klocko, his sister-in-law, Joan Naton, and many nieces, nephews and cousins. He was predeceased by his parents, his brother, Peter, and his sister, Margaret Ann Yerrick.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 29 at 10:30 am at St. Joseph on the Brandywine, Wilmington, DE. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Ray’s memory to the Ministry of Caring, Inc., 115 E. 14th Street, Wilmington, DE 19801 (www.ministryofcaring.org)