Raymond L. VanDemarkRaymond L. VanDemark of Ithaca passed away at Cayuga Medical Center on Friday, October 7, 2016 at the age of 80.
Ray was born in Ithaca on December 30, 1935, a son of the late Lewis and Anna Marie (Poelvoorde) VanDemark. After graduating from Ithaca High School, Ray joined the United States Army serving his country from1955 until he was honorably discharged in 1957. A man of many talents, Ray utilized his analytical and logical skills throughout his entire life. He attended SUNY Morrisville before taking a job at General Electric in Utica where he worked on the sidewinder missile and then worked at Cornell University where he operated and maintained the synchrotron.
Ray also started the Sandy Creek Mobile Home Park, where he and his wife Yvonne owned and sold mobile homes for over 50 years. Building the park from the ground up, Ray was a perfectionist who held every aspect of his life to high standards. He built his own home, repaired and re built all the properties in the park, and was a very successful tinkerer who almost always was able to fix the task at hand.
His sense of humor was always present and he enjoyed making conversation with everyone and truly enjoyed spending time with people. Above all, flying was his first love. Ray was an avid licensed small plane pilot for many years. He owned the Grund airstrip where he flew and kept his beloved planes, spending many hours in his workshop building and reworking planes from the frame up. He was an encyclopedia of aviation knowledge and flying.
Ray is survived by his wife of 56 years, Yvonne VanDemark; two children, Marie A. (Jeffrey Myers Sr.) VanDemark and Roderick L. (Alice) VanDemark; four grandchildren, Chelsea M. and Ryan C. Fields, and William L. and Leslie M. VanDemark; lifelong friend, Charles Hubbell; and several nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, Ray was preceded in death by his sisters and their husbands, Myrtle (Robert) Linton and Joan (George) Head.
The family will be present to receive friends from 11:00am to 1:00pm on Sunday, October 16, 2016 at the Ness-Sibley Funeral Home, 23 South Street, Trumansburg. A Funeral Service will immediately follow at 1:00pm at the funeral home. Burial will be private for family only.
The family asks those that would like to make a contribution in Ray’s memory to kindly consider the Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 811 or the American Red Cross.