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Raymond L. (Ray) Wilson

Raymond Wilson Obit Pic


Raymond L. (Ray) Wilson – November 22, 1933 – April 17, 2017.  He was born in Toledo, Ohio to John Wilson of Scotland and Martha Martin Wilson of Indiana.  Ray attended public schools in Tipp City and Troy, Ohio.  He graduated from Troy High School in June 1951 and from The Ohio State University in March 1956, where he and his wife, Jo, later established the Wilson Vocal Awards program.  Ray married Jo Ellen Secoy of Troy in December 1955.  They shared experiences in vocal and instrumental music in High School and repeated this at Ohio State, in church choir activity and the Columbus Symphony Chorus.  Ray is survived by his three daughters, Katherine, Sarah and Gwendolyn (Dan); grandchildren, Laurel (Kyle), Mac (Terri), Jessica and Jocelyn (CJ).  He was employed by Nationwide Insurance Companies in early 1956, left in June 1956 for two years military service in the US Army, then returned to Nationwide where he worked 36 years until his retirement in 1992 as Senior Vice-President, reporting to CEO, John Fisher.  During his career Ray represented Nationwide in several local and national insurance organizations and served on the boards of the Central Ohio YMCA, Southeast Ohio Muscular Dystrophy Association, Opera Columbus and Cantari Singers of Columbus.  Nationwide assignments took the family to Detroit, Chicago and Los Angeles before a return to Columbus, later followed by a move back to Detroit to work with subsidiary companies and then a return to Columbus for several various assignments until his retirement.  Ray and his daughters, family and friends lost Jo in 2012.  Following retirement, Ray became interested in photography and had the good fortune to associate with a number of fine artists who taught him, imparted knowledge of their skills, and shared fellowship and experiences over several years.  This figured significantly in his later travels throughout North America.   Ray married Geraldine Foxx, a THS classmate, on March 24, 2013.  They lived in Columbus, enjoying their active and varied lives fully by themselves and with many members of their two families, traveling frequently about the U.S., Canada and elsewhere in an RV, an old Yukon or a pickup, sometimes with their cats and dogs, but always with their binoculars and cameras.  Early in their marriage, they used their enjoyment of travel to help each other become acquainted with their new families, traveling to Michigan, Oklahoma, Arizona and Canada.  In 2014, they spent 11 weeks with their pets in the RV for a 10,000+ mile jaunt including Nevada, California, much of Western U.S., Canada and two weeks in Alaska.  Ray leaves these words: “It was a lovely life – too short, as any of us must feel.  But while living it, and now as leaving it, I have given thanks for my families, the company of so many wonderful friends and companions and, simply and gratefully, for the privilege of having known the wonderful, incomprehensible brightness of this wonderful event we call life!  So long.”  In lieu of flowers, those wishing to offer a gift in Ray’s memory might consider the The Ohio State University Foundation, Wilson Vocal Awards Fund (#607728), 1480 West Lane Avenue, Columbus, OH 43221.  The family will receive friends and guests for a gathering beginning 12:00 Noon, followed by a memorial service at 1:00 PM on Saturday, April 29, 2017 at Ohio Cremation & Memorial Service, 5464 N. High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43214. Please visit to leave Ray’s family an online condolence.

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  • Mindy Morrison says:

    My sympathy to the family of Mr Wilson. I know two daughters well and know they loved their father. Praying for peace as they adjust to this loss.

  • Bill Olson says:

    So sorry to hear of Ray’s passing. It was a privilege to know him, and we will keep your family in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Steve Rish says:

    Ray Wilson, business executive,leader,mentor, and friend, you left us far too soon and will be greatly missed. In sympathy to family and friends.

    Steve an Maeva Rish

  • Bill Gulley says:

    Ray was one of my dearest friends over the years. His family and mine go back to the ’60s. My loss is certainly not as great as yours, but I feel it deeply.
    He was a great boss and leader and a wonderful friend and one of the smartest men I’ve ever met. We had some great conversations over the years.
    I will miss him.
    Bill Gulley

  • Christine Yanch McBride says:

    Condolences and prayers to the Wilson family. During my 21 years at Nationwide, I was privileged to see the hard work and commitment of both Ray and his daughter Gwen. Ray was very well respected and was instrumental in exhibiting dedication to work and family. Because of his leadership, many people have gone on to become accomplished and successful in life…Ray’s influence and high standards reflected throughout Nationwide and the community.
    To have touched so many lives down through the years and shared a family with the rest of us was indeed a blessing to all; thank you Ray and rest in peace.
    Blessings to the family.
    Christine Yanch McBride

  • Lori Stanley says:

    I am so sorry to hear of Ray’s passing. I have fond memories of Ray and Jo, and the fun times they spent with my parents (Don and Toni Stuhldreher). I have several pieces of your Dad’s photography from our lake cottage, and know they loved spending time there. We were blessed to know him. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • Katherine Murphy says:

    Heartfelt condolences to you on loss of this amazing man! I want to share what he wrote as Hugh was passing from this life because it can also be said of Ray’s life:
    Time has a reach for each and all
    while much has flowed from that of yours, priceless gain outweighs the loss
    Delight dwells with you
    the sun the wind the song the work
    lover children and then theirs
    teachers and the taught and friends
    the touch the time to savor all that is
    the time to love and labor so that worth remains
    the dawn the night and all between
    cared for caring mourning mourned
    for what has been
    for time no more
    stay with joy and leaving smile
    for you know
    you are, have been and will be loved.
    RW 2000

  • Brenda says:

    Dear Family,
    We are so sorry for your loss and understand that A Loved one lost can grieve the heart, and make us yearn for tomorrow, When Jehovah God will keep the promise he made of no more pain, no death, no sorrow. (Revelation 21:4).
    Mrs Norma Shearer, Mrs Jackie Stiger, Mrs Peggy Williams and Ms Brenda McGaughy

5464 N High St,
Columbus, OH 43214

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