Raymond J. Basiliere
Raymond J. Basiliere passed away at the tender age of 90 years old on January 12, 2017 in Merrimack, NH; and until that moment was a happy healthy husband, father, grandfather and uncle to a large and loving family.
Ray was born in Burlington, VT in 1926, one of three children. He was the son of Beatrice Marie Basiliere and was raised by his grandparents, Alfred and Josephine Basiliere in Vermont. Ray and his wife of 67 years, Frances, married in 1949 and raised five loving children according to their own principles of kindness, fairness, honesty and above all, the importance of family. Ray and Fran started their family in Burlington, and in the 1960’s moved to NH where they lived out their lives. Every summer Ray would pack the family into the station wagon and head back to Burlington for a 2-week vacation with the extended family, emphasizing the importance of keeping those ties tight.
Ray was raised Roman Catholic, baptized in St. Joseph’s church in Burlington and attended Catholic grammar school. He was an altar boy and talked about how much he enjoyed serving, alongside his best buddies. Earning money was tough in the 30’s, so Ray had an extensive paper route and delivered donuts to his neighbors along with their papers on Sundays. Living on Lake Champlain and nearby ski areas was perfect for a young, athletic kid, so Ray and his friends used to spend much of their time diving off the rocks surrounding the lake or taking on the double diamond slopes on Mt. Mansfield. He went to Cathedral High School in Burlington and was known as a "good guy", famous for his uninhibited character portrayals on "Stunt Night".
When he was 17, Ray joined the Civil Air Patrol, an aviation training program for high school kids with dreams of becoming a pilot. He wanted to serve his country during WWII so as soon as he reached 18, he enlisted in the Army and was deployed to the Pacific in early 1945. Ray served in the Philippines through and beyond the end of the war, and talked frequently about his time in service, very proud to have had the opportunity to do his part.
After the war, Ray was head of distribution for the Burlington Free Press, an encouraging supervisor to all the boys with paper routes like he had when he was young. He went to Business school to work toward an Associate degree in Accounting, and used that new found knowledge for the rest of his career. In the 1950’s Ray served as a senior accountant and department manager at Ethan Allen Air Force Base in VT, Plattsburgh Air Force Base in NY and Pease Air Force base in Portsmouth, NH. In the 1960’s Ray moved on to the Internal Revenue Service to become an auditor and remained with IRS for 30 years, determined to show taxpayers that the IRS could be kind and understanding. He finished his career as a special agent for IRS working with tax exempt organizations.
Ray was a loving father who balanced his career choices with the best interests of his family. He enjoyed his relationships with colleagues and neighbors, and loved times spent with the many friends in his children’s lives, who all called him, "Mr. B". Ray loved the outdoors and was happiest being deep in the woods, hunting or hiking with friends and family. Family vacations while the kids were young were often camping trips all over New England. He taught his children countless life-skills about the tools and techniques of outdoor life, as well as skills to repair just about anything found in a house or garage. Always a passionate fan of his sons’ sports, he was a baseball coach when the boys were young, and then a high school baseball umpire in later years. He loved it as a hobby and as a break from his professional life. In the mid 1990’s Ray retired, renewed his interest in wood working, settled down to relax, savor the fruits of his years of hard work, and enjoy watching his family grow.
Raymond is survived by his five children, eleven grandchildren and seven great grandchildren; by his sister, Marie Murphy of CA, and is predeceased by his brother, Nelson Alfred Martin of AZ. Children – Paul Basiliere; Barbara Deguise and husband Bob; Jane Heacock and husband Alan – all of NH; Thomas Basiliere and wife Sharon Syrek, Robert Basiliere and wife Judith – all of MA. Grandchildren – Brie Hetherington of NH, Ryan Basiliere of NC, Aaron Basiliere of Wisconsin; Jason Heacock and wife Mia of NH, Nicholas Heacock and wife Valerie of NH; Kyle Basiliere, Jaime Basiliere, Jessica Basiliere, Sarah Basiliere, Julia Basiliere and James Basiliere. Great Grandchildren – Brennan and Kellan Rose; Joseph, Brian and Melody. Raymond is also survived by many wonderful nieces and nephews on both sides of his extended family who always enjoyed talking with him about what was happening in their lives and their plans for the future.
According to Ray’s expressed wishes, there will not be a viewing or funeral mass. The family will hold a private burial at NH Veterans’ Cemetery in the coming weeks.
If you would like to make a donation, please do so in Ray’s name to the Salvation Army, 121 Cedar Street, Manchester, NH 03101, or online at www.salvationarmyusa.org.
To sign an online condolence for the family, please visit www.rivetfuneralhome.com.