Ron Gilson Submits this tribute to Ray Chandanaias:
Ray was a valued member of our waterfront community, a devoted family man and my long-time friend… a straight shooter to all who knew him.
Ray… until we meet again, smooth sailing… Ron Gilson⚓ ⚓ ⚓GLOUCESTER’S “CATERPILLAR” MASTER MECHANIC
1933 ~ RAY CHANDANAIS ~ 2022My friend and a great guyLooking back over 50 years ago, when I first met Ray, we both were so young. Ray had teamed up with “Ozzie” Howard and after a few years, they moved their successful marine repair business to Pond Road. At that time, I had just opened my Gloucester Marine Insurance Agency.Ray and Ozzie both serviced our fishing fleet, and in a way, complimented each other’s work. Ray approached his Caterpillar customers with the tools and expertise of a brain surgeon. His partner, Ozzie, serviced his customers with his “jack of all trades” experience and a sledge hammer! IT WAS THE BEGINNING OF ONE ERA AND THE END OF ANOTHER!
As our business relationship grew, our friendship intensified. In my life, the friendships I’ve made along the way, are all important. Ray Chandanais is my good friend, along with his family: wife, Helen; son, Jay; sister, Theresa Wilkins; mother, Mary, and their own family relatives come to mind.
When our coffee house opened in 1981, the first daily breakfast customer was Ray! No one supported our business more than Ray, and on weekends, his entire family. Our friendship went far beyond business. Ray, Helen, and their family were our family. Joan and I were invited to their wedding at the Surf in Magnolia. Family birthday parties, Veteran’s Day and Marine Corps (10 November) annual restaurant birthday celebrations, when Ray loaned his sons’, Randy and Michael, Marine Corp portraits for display above our restaurant dessert case. Ray was so proud… GREAT MEMORIES!