Dr. Raymond Emil Beiersdorfer passed away October 11, 2018, having completed his 62nd journey around the sun. Ray was born on October 12, 1956 and raised in Queens, New York City. He also lived in California, Australia, Canada and Youngstown, Ohio and traveled all over the United States and the world.
Dr. Ray, as he was known by his students, was a dynamic, inspiring, award-winning Distinguished Professor of Geologic and Environmental Sciences at Youngstown State University for 25 years. A few of Ray’s many contributions to the university and the community include: 10+ years taking students and community members to China, Tibet, Taiwan, New Mexico, and the Isle of Man, and whitewater rafting in West Virginia; 16 years organizing and directing the Penguin Bowl, a high school regional competition for the National Ocean Sciences Bowl; and 5 years organizing Dr. Ray’s Energy and the Environment Lecture Series. Ray loved sharing science and his enthusiasm for science with children and adults through his Dr. Ray’s Amazing Sideshow of Science, a favorite at community and school events in Northeast Ohio. Ray was a fierce advocate for climate and social justice and for community rights and the rights of nature. His passion for justice strengthens the resolve of all fellow activists to continue working for a just and sustainable future.
Ray is survived by his wife and partner Susie, twin daughters Crystal and Rochelle, mother Doris and sisters Deborah Sherlock and Lynn Livi, many relatives and thousands of students, friends and acquaintances all around the world.
Ray’s life was a LIFE WELL-LIVED and a LIFE WELL-LOVED one. May we all be inspired by Ray to live a life of joy, passion and generosity for ALL.
Dr. Ray’s life was celebrated on October 5, 2018 at YSU where over 300 people gathered and shared memories, laughed and cried and truly experienced a beloved community. There will be more celebrations in the future, including Saturday November 10, 2018 at 1 pm at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Youngstown. On Friday, November 9 at 3 p.m., a Tree Planting Ceremony will take place near Moser Hall on the YSU Campus. All are welcome. The family has requested that memorial tributes take the form of donations to the Youngstown State University Foundation, 655 Wick Ave., Youngstown, OH 44502 for a memorial tree to be planted on the YSU Campus. Please indicate “Dr. Ray Tree Fund” in the memo portion of your check.
“Be kind. Be connected. Be unafraid.” ~Rivera Sun
Arrangements by Cremation & Funeral Service by Gary S Silvat Inc. Send condolences to Ray's family by visiting: www.cremateohio.com.