Raymond William Schmelter, 92 of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, was peacefully called to be with his late wife Marian in heaven on February 17, 2022.
Ray was born March 26, 1929 in Escanaba, Michigan to William Otto Schmelter (1896 –1966) and Alma Ernestine Giese (1896 – 1958). Ray had two siblings, sisters Adeline Helen Schmelter (1921 – 2010) and Gladys Alma Blizzard (1927-1992).
Ray was a beloved husband of over 70 years to his late wife Marian Jensen Schmelter, 92, of Mount Pleasant South Carolina, who passed away January 3, 2022, and a loving father to his two sons, Dean (Karen) of Mount Pleasant, SC and Peter (Kelly) of Sudbury, MA; grand-children Garrett Schmelter (Meghan) of James Island, South Carolina; Lauren Cox (Robbie) of Mount Pleasant; Keith and Emmy Schmelter of Sudbury, MA, and great grandfather to Landon and Connor.
Ray and Marian met while students at Escanaba High School in Escanaba, Michigan and instantly became high school sweethearts. Ray’s penchant for mischievous ways and innocent pranks got him in to trouble early on at school, but Marian saw the good in him and stayed by his side. Ray focused more while at college at Michigan Tech and soon after graduation they married, but to anyone who knew him, his mischievous ways never fully abandoned him. His continuous pranks were popular stories at family gatherings for many years.
Ray moved to Connecticut where he raised his two children with Marian while working as a Program Manager on the jet engine fuel control project at Hamilton Standard for over 30 years, and then at Sikorsky Helicopter as a Program Manager on a helicopter recovery contract for the Taiwanese Navy. In spite of the demands of his career, he was always quick to volunteer in whatever sport or activity his kids participated in, including an assistant football coach, a soccer referee, manning the stopwatch at countless swim meets, all while working full time and for 4 years going to school part time to get his MBA. Once retired, he trained to first become a volunteer fireman and later a Fire Commissioner and Fire Inspector for several of the communities he lived in South Carolina, sang tenor in the local acapella group and the church choir, and more recently volunteered at Roper St Francis Hospital in Mount Pleasant for over nine years, greeting visitors with his big smile, bigger personality and infectious positive attitude. Each morning he looked forward to the local paper being delivered so he could play his favorite Sudoku game using a pen to enter his numbers, not a pencil so he had to be right the first time.
He loved playing tennis and golf, playing golf well into his 80’s before settling to watch his personal favorite sports. Early on, he enjoyed watching Arnold Palmer compete against Jack Nicholas every Sunday on TV; Yankees baseball; and any team from his home state of Michigan, college or pro; and more recently he enjoyed following Clemson’s football during their national title runs.
Over the years, Ray taught himself to be incredibly skilled in woodworking; from repairing and building furniture at the request of all his family, to patiently carving life-like ducks and smaller bird figures; creating beautiful wood framed trivets with thousands of wine corks; to wood picture frames for gifts, he loved working with his hands creating objects of his imagination. He always seemed to find time to fulfill numerous requests from so many friends and family who all loved his true talent and craftsmanship.
No funeral or memorial service is immediately planned. The family will notify loved ones in the future when a celebration of his life is scheduled.