Raymond R. Alessandrini, 81, passed away, with the love of family and friends in his heart, on Thursday, December 24, 2020, at St. Elizabeth Medical Center of MVHS. The pearly gates golf league just got a lot better.
Ray was born on March 13, 1939, in Utica, NY, where he spent his whole life, aside from the winter months he spent down in Florida. He was a son of the late Louis M. and Betty (Paolinelli) Alessandrini. He was educated in local schools, and attended Utica Catholic Academy on a basketball scholarship, where he was known for his ball handling and shooting ability. Ray graduated from UCA, class of 1957. He later attended Utica College.
Ray was very well-known in the upstate NY community as a fierce and passionate competitor. This led him to making 4 hole-in-ones throughout his career, and even placed an ace on the 18th hole at Valley View, winning a brand new car. He won numerous amateur golf championships, in multiple age brackets, and countless other tournaments. Needless to say, some of Ray’s happiest times and memories were spent with his many buddies on the golf course. Like his big “Brother Lou”, whose relationship Ray treasured, he was a life-long fan of the Boston Red Sox.
As a young man, Ray worked alongside his father in the masonry trade, eventually operating his own business laying tile and marble, in many homes and businesses, in Utica, and the surrounding areas. He later sold insurance for Combined Life for several years, winning many awards to recognize his success. He was blessed with a great work ethic and worked right up until his very last day, as a sports enthusiast.
Ray was joined in marriage to his loving wife, Karen (Duda) Alessandrini, on May 23, 1980, and they enjoyed each other for 40 wonderful years. Together, they enjoyed the best of family, the best of friends, and the best of times. They traveled many places, and lived a very full and rewarding life together.
He was always there for everyone and helped many people over the years, always anonymously.
In addition to his wife, Karen; Ray is survived by four children, daughter and son-in-law, Michelle and Todd Ullman, twin sons, Raymond Alessandrini and Richard Panetta, and Peter Alessandrini and Bud Derucher, and his son and daughter-in-law, Christopher and Lisa Steeper; 5 grandchildren, Devin Purcell, Morgan and Spencer Tyrrell, and Christopher and Nina Steeper; he was looking forward to meeting his first great-granddaughter, Hazel Grace Purcell; one sister, Beth Ann Strauss; brothers and sisters-in-law, John and Patricia Russo, Scott and Barbara Lichorowic, and Cheryl Luizzi. He is also survived by many beloved nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews. Ray was blessed with so many wonderful friends, too numerous to mention them all, but shared very special bonds with Rocky Fiato and Craig George. He was predeceased by his sister, Dorothy McPherson; and his brother, Louis M. Alessandrini Jr. (Brother Lou).
A celebration of Ray’s life and a mass of Christian Burial will be held in the future, as soon as we are all able to safely gather and do it Ray’s way!! Until then, he will be laid to rest privately with his family in Calvary Cemetery Mausoleum. The family would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to the staff of St. Elizabeth Hospital, for their loving and compassionate care provided to Ray during his courageous battle with his toughest opponent yet, COVID-19.
In lieu of flowers, and in memory of “Uncle Ray”, please consider a donation to one of his favorite charities, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, Operation Sunshine, or The Abraham House; and, when you go out, buy a drink or dinner for a friend and always, always tip well.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105
221 Oriskany St. E, Utica NY 13501
1203 Kemble Street, Utica NY 13501