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Raymond Howard

Raymond Albert "Ray" Howard, 77, passed away unexpectedly Thursday (June 13, 2024) at his home in Geneva.

Family, friends, former students and colleagues may call 6 to 8 PM Friday (June 21) at Coe-Genung Funeral Home, 46 W. Main St., Waterloo, NY. The memorial service will 4 PM Saturday (June 22) at the Presbyterian Church of Geneva, 24 Park Pl., Geneva, NY. Rev. Colin Pritchard, pastor of the church, will officiate.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Martin Luther King Scholarship Committee in his name.

Ray was born November 26, 1946 in Rochester, NY, the son of Raymond and Nina Howard, who owned a dairy farm in Hopewell. As a child, he was active in 4-H and showed dairy cattle, earning recognition as the national grand champion. While attending high school at Canandaigua Academy, Ray met his future wife, Diane Fox Howard, who predeceased him in 1987. His one true love, he never remarried and missed her dearly in the subsequent years.

Ray's true passion was music; he graduated from the Eastman School of Music in the late 1960s, studying voice under John Maloy and Anna Kaskas. Though proficient in piano, organ, clarinet, and classical guitar, he found his calling in music education, where he excelled in sharing his love for music with his students. Ray taught elementary music in Chemung, Waverly, and Elba during the 1970s before settling in Geneva, where he devoted the rest of his career to teaching middle school music. Generations of his former students will remember singing along to his guitar and his many humorous stories.

Ray had a big heart and a larger-than-life personality, lively yet principled. He devoted his time to many charitable and community-building activities. These include a long tenure with the Boy Scouts. He served as Camp Director at Camp Brulé in Pennsylvania and Babcock-Hovey in New York, and as leader of Troop 3 in Geneva. He contributed to the Martin Luther King Scholarship Committee for many years, an organization he deeply admired. Ray was a long-time member of the First Presbyterian Church, where he participated in the choir and various church activities, embodying his faith through service.

He loved steam trains and was a model railroad aficionado, having scratch-built his own layout over decades in his basement. He published Lake Shores Limited, a newsletter of the Lakeshores Division of the National Model Railroad Division, and volunteered at the Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum.

Ray leaves behind two sons, Arthur (Karen) Howard of Waterloo, NY and Matthew (Jim) Howard of Wanborough, England; his beloved grandchildren, Olivia and Emily, who inherited his musical gifts; and sister, artist and retired art educator Nancy Lyon of Canandaigua, NY.

He was predeceased by his parents and sister Janice Miller.

Ray's life was spent giving his time and energy to others. His legacy will continue to resonate through the lives he touched. He will be dearly missed.

Funeral Home in Charge

Coe-Genug Funeral Home
46 West Main Street
Waterloo, NY, 13165
(315) 539-3231