Ray Viets

Ray VietsRay Viets had a serious stroke on May 18th and after ten weeks of valiant struggle passed away on July 31. His wife Vicky, who calls him “a very special man who has left a big hole in my heart,” was at his bedside when he died.

Ray loved history, especially military history. He also loved to travel and had an incredible memory. He used to say that his mind was missing the delete button. An outgoing guy with a friendly personality, loved to meet new people and talk.

After graduating from Yale he spent much of his life working for the government in Washington DC, both in the military and in the civil service. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of military history and details. His military duties included Logistics, Military Police, and training. He particularly enjoyed conducting the training and was famous for his entertaining classes.

Ray loved dogs, and dogs loved him. He and Vicky adopted many rescued German Shepherds over the years.

“I first met Ray in Freshman year, in the Football Band,” says Mike Orlansky. “He was a fine Glockenspiel player, a sharp marcher, an open, friendly guy. A few of us had no prior experience in marching and playing an instrument at the same time, and Ray was helpful and patient despite our occasional stumbles. He also offered some good tips about places to go in New Haven (Ray lived on Yale Avenue, just a few blocks from the Bowl). Around 25 years later, it was a pleasant surprise to meet up again with Ray, in Washington, DC while we both were doing international work. He was instantly recognizable, with the same buoyant personality, inquisitive mind and keen sense of humor. Ray identified strongly with Yale and with the Class of 1967. Although Ray took time off from Yale for Army service and graduated a few years later, he always felt a close tie to our Class and to Timothy Dwight College. I know Ray will be greatly missed and well remembered by many.”

And from Tom Devine: “I’m extremely sorry to hear of Ray’s passing. I remember Ray for his marvelously deep voice – he would have made a great broadcaster – and his consistently sunny disposition. I’m sad to know that I won’t see him at our next reunion.”