The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

September 20, 2013

Ray K. Fess

Navy vet, Packard worker was tennis promoter


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---- — Ray K. Fess of 934 Pierce Ave., Sharpsville, passed away Tuesday morning, Sept. 10, 2013, in Auburndale, Fla. He was 82.

Mr. Fess was born June 2, 1931, in Warren, Ohio, and graduated from Warren G. Harding High School in 1949, where he played trumpet in the band.

He joined the Navy in 1951 and was honored to serve aboard the USS Midway aircraft carrier, which he loved.

Ray is survived by his wife of 41 years, the former Betty Lou White Miller.

He worked at Packard Electric Division in Warren for 42 years.

Ray enjoyed playing softball with many local church groups and clubs.

Ray sang in the choir at the Lutheran Church in Warren. In later years he sang in the choir at St. Bartholomew’s Church in Sharpsville, where he was a member.

Ray was also an avid tennis promoter in the Shenango Valley. Their boys loved tennis and to encourage them, Ray and Betty Lou put in a clay tennis court in their back yard. Soon they started holding tennis tournaments. Proceeds went to the Jerry Lewis Telethon and later to missions in the Bahamas. In 1989 they and a few other tennis players organized the Shenango Valley Tennis Club, sponsoring tournaments on the court until 2004. This created many, many memories, meeting many wonderful people and encouraged a lot of kids to play tennis.

To thank Sharpsville and the valley for what they did for their grandson, Sammy Fleischer, they volunteered their time at the Little League concession stand in Sharpsville, where Ray was known as “Father Fryer.”

Besides his wife, he leaves a son, Kenneth Fess, Warren; four stepsons, Teddy Miller and his wife Shelia, Sharpsville; Ronald Miller and his wife Michele, Waxahachie, Texas; and Jeffery Miller and his wife Patricia; and David Miller and his wife Tracey, all Sharpsville; and 15 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Ray was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Jack Fess of Warren; and his grandson, Sammy Fleischer.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 11 in St. Bartholomew’s Church, 311 W. Ridge Ave., Sharpsville.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to a hospice of the donor’s choice.