David S. Ray died on September 23, 2021, in Washington, D.C. He was 58 years old.
Dave was born and raised in Akron, Ohio, where he attended Garfield High School. Even then, Dave's qualities of comradery and leadership were on display, as he played on the school's varsity soccer team, and served as the 1981 senior class president. After high school he attended The Ohio State University, where he majored in agricultural economics, and was president of an agriculture fraternity, Alpha Gamma Rho. Dave moved to Washington, D.C., after college and initially worked for the Department of Agriculture. From there he moved to the Republican National Committee (RNC) where he worked with Maureen Reagan, who was the RNC co-chair during the Reagan Administration.
Dave's natural curiosity and lifelong interest in learning led him to earn a master's degree in international communication from the American University and begin a career in public relations. For the last 20 years he worked at the Federation of American Immigration Reform (FAIR), where he headed the organization's communication department. In that capacity, he served as the group's national spokesperson and published opinion pieces in major print and online media. Dave was a high energy, fun-loving and joyful person who had a huge, dedicated-love for family. He was very good natured, jovial, fun to be with and the life of every get-together. His zest for living was exhibited in the way he embraced life's little pleasures. For instance, he loved a good meal, especially ones he prepared. He enjoyed physical fitness, and took great pleasure in an exhilarating work-out with weights. Dave also loved nature and the outdoors. He doted on his three beloved dogs and often took them for walks, especially through Washington's Rock Creek Park -- urban adventures he would happily share in his many conversations and emails with family and friends.
Dave had one child, Eli Wolfe, of Seattle, Washington. Dave was a devoted, loving and nurturing father who reveled in showing Eli the beauty and wonders of nature. At a young age he'd secure his son on his back and both would hike the hills and mountains surrounding Washington. When Eli moved, first to Hawaii and then to Seattle, both son and father would often spend their time together traveling and appreciating the beauty around them. Summer visits to Cape Cod were a frequent and cherished destination with Eli and Ross Hunter. Ross Hunter of Washington, D.C., has been Dave's partner and life-mate for the past several years. He was at Dave's side in life and sat at Dave's bedside when he passed. They had plans to someday move to Florida and start a nursery where Dave could pursue his love of greenery and horticulture. Dave leaves his mother, Carol Ray; brothers, Ralph (Louise) and Daniel (Cheryl), and sister, Gail Kamlowsky; nieces and nephews, Emma Wartko (Ben), Michael Kamlowsky (Kelly), Daniel, Logan and Lindsay Ray. Dave was preceded in death by his father, Ralph C. Ray, Sr., and his brother-in-law, Paul Kamlowsky. And, of course, he leaves behind many dear friends.
Friends may call beginning at 5:30 on Thursday, November 11 at the Anthony Funeral Home, Kucko-Anthony-Kertesz Chapel, 1990 S Main St in Akron, where a memorial service will be held at 6:00PM, followed by an open house with light refreshments provided.
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