Richard Rayman

August 14, 1925 - May 5, 2022

Richard Rayman, 96, of Cape Coral, formerly of East Unity, NH and Long Beach, IN, passed away on May 5, 2022. He is survived by his wife, Susan; a son, Paul Rayman (Lynette); daughters Jane Vitaniemi (William) and Patricia Harris (Jay); and daughter-in-law Janice Rayman, and by nine grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren. He was predeceased by his son, Alan Rayman; his sister, Michelle; and his brother, Stanley.

Born on August 14, 1925 in Lviv, Poland (now part of Ukraine), he was the son of the late Viktor and Rosalia (Palka) Rejman.

Richard was just 14 when World War II broke out. One morning in September of 1939, he awoke to the sound of bombing and outside he saw that the whole town of Lviv was on fire. “German aircraft were dropping bombs on everything still standing,” he recalled. Soon, the Polish double-eagle crest on the wall of his school classroom would be replaced with a swastika. Later when Germany was forced to withdraw to the west, and the Soviet Union occupied Lviv, the swastika was replaced with a hammer and sickle. At age 16, with Germany pushing into Poland from the west, and Russia pushing from the east, Richard quit school, said goodbye to his family and joined the Polish Resistance Movement (Polish Underground Army). Members of this group lived individually with Polish families during the day, and were active fighters at night. Richard had many stories about his time in his life.

Though the war in Europe had ended in September of 1945, the US was still at war with Japan. Richard and other members of the Resistance Movement were taken into the US Army and given jobs previously held by US soldiers who had been deployed to the Eastern Front. Richard’s job was to guard the BMW factory in Munich that was then being used as a munitions depot.

After the war ended, Richard left Poland for England where he met and married Jean Lewin. He attended Southwest Essex Polytechnical College and School of the Arts in London on a scholarship and graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering. In England he worked for DeHaviland Aircraft Company, where he designed test equipment for jet aircraft engines.  He also was employed by a division of the British Oxygen Company, where he designed an inflation device for life vests, much like those used on aircraft today. He also designed an inflatable 20-person life raft that could be deployed from a ship.

Richard and his wife and 5 year-old son, Alan, moved to Kent, Ohio in 1959 for an engineering position with Davey Compressor Company, and later moved to Michigan City, Indiana, where he was employed as an engineer in the Compressor Division of Joy Manufacturing Company for many years. Richard became an internationally recognized expert in the field of screw compressors. He retired from Joy in 1988. Richard and Jean’s marriage ended in 1968 shortly after they moved to Long Beach, Indiana.

With his children, Richard enjoyed swimming in Lake Michigan as well as skiing and camping.

Shortly after retiring from Joy, Richard accepted a position as Chief Engineer with Sullivan Industries in Claremont, NH.  It was there that he met Susan Ryan. The two married in 1990 and lived in East Unity, NH, until 2000 when they both retired and moved to Cape Coral, FL. Richard continued his association with Sullivan as a consultant until he was 88.

Richard and Susan enjoyed skiing and traveling – including trips to Mexico, Aruba, Canada, England, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Germany, and Austria – and kept busy at home with gardening, camping, day trips and occasional trips to the beach. Richard loved TV westerns and classical music, enjoyed cooking certain things – including stuffed cabbage – and was an avid Suduko player. He was a member of Faith Presbyterian Church. Always the engineer, Richard had a reputation as a person who could repair anything! He was a most kind, intelligent, and loving person and he will be sorely missed by his family and friends.

Memorial services will be held 2:00 PM Friday, June 10, 2022 at Faith Presbyterian Church (in the Hunt Chapel), 4544 Coronado Parkway, Cape Coral, FL 33904 with Rev. Dr. Nancy Kahaian officiating.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to your favorite charity.

Mullins Memorial Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Cape Coral, is entrusted with final care.

Guestbook

  1. Carol and Larry Smith May 10, 2022 at 12:45 pm

    He was a wonderful man and a kind neighbor. We will miss him.

  2. Linda and Jeff Rose May 10, 2022 at 12:46 pm

    I knew some of these things about Richard’s life but there was a lot more that I didn’t know. What I do know is that he was a kind and gentle man and a good neighbor for the 11 years we lived next door. Our deepest sympathy to Sue and the whole family.

  3. Carol Hunter May 10, 2022 at 12:58 pm

    Beautifully written for a man that lived a very full and accomplished life. Rest in peace dear Richard.

  4. Rebecca Fistel May 10, 2022 at 3:27 pm

    U r so lucky ur dad shared his military experiences with his children. He lived a good life and you will all take over with what he taught u.

  5. Sheila Stein May 10, 2022 at 8:46 pm

    I am sorry for your loss. Your father was an amazing man.

  6. Kathleen Birch May 11, 2022 at 12:31 pm

    Richard alwats had a stong hand shake, a great hug, and a Big heart!! I am so thankful he filled my Aunt Sue’s life with love and happiness. He will always be missed!!

  7. Saul Feiss May 12, 2022 at 2:25 pm

    Gail and I are very sorry for your loss

  8. Michael Wheat May 12, 2022 at 5:54 pm

    Wow what an amazing man he was. Sounds like he had truly full life. .He will be missed.

  9. Jeff Moore May 12, 2022 at 9:59 pm

    Paul has been a best friend of mine for about 50 years and i was lucky to know Mr. Rayman as i grew up.
    He was a cool dad and i had no idea at the time of his remarkable past. In recent years I learned a little bit about of his life growing up and I’m even more amazed! Mr Rayman will surely be missed and our prayers our with Paul, Jane, Trish and the rest of the family. Rest in peace Mr. Rayman.

  10. Wanda L. Gebhardt May 13, 2022 at 10:39 am

    Susan, you may not remember me but Maurice and I lived in Cape Coral and belonged to Faith Church while we were there. Am so sorry to hear about Richard.

  11. Sharon Bury May 13, 2022 at 12:40 pm

    Sue, my deepest sympathy. RIP

  12. Sharon O'Brien May 13, 2022 at 3:48 pm

    Sue,
    We are so sorry for your loss. Richard was a gentleman. We were honored to call him family.
    Love,
    Cousin Sharon

  13. Sue & Randy Jones May 14, 2022 at 7:49 am

    Susan,
    So sorry for your loss. We’re keeping you in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. Richard was truly an amazing man.

  14. Carol Bucy May 14, 2022 at 11:13 pm

    Susan, I know Richard will be terribly missed. But God will give you the strength you need. I am so sorry for your loss

  15. Peggy OToole May 15, 2022 at 12:48 am

    Sue,
    Please accept my heartfelt sympathy at this difficult time! You and Richard enjoyed more than 30 wonderful years together. You really complemented each other! Richard was a very genuine and thoughtful
    man, gifted with a brilliant mind and a positive outlook and humble, even into the last days of his life. He certainly will be missed!
    Sue, Paul, Jane and Trish, I pray you find comfort in your memories. Try to recall the things Richard taught you and then try to share them with others.
    Richard, RIP

  16. Ursula Bisig and Beat Schenk May 16, 2022 at 6:06 pm

    He was a wonderful man. We will miss him.

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