Raymond (Ray) Joseph Libera of Portland, CT, passed away at Middlesex Hospital surrounded by his family on July 13th, 2021. Born in Hartford, CT, he was the son of the late Nello Libera and Margaret (Caruso) Libera.
Ray is survived by his beloved wife and devoted caregiver, Mary Ann Libera. They were high school sweethearts who just celebrated their 56th wedding anniversary. He is also survived by his three children, Tara Libera and Christine Delisle of Portland, Lisa Libera McNally of Cromwell, and Jason and Jodi Libera of East Haddam. Ray also leaves behind his sister Dolores Libera and her husband Bill Flanagan of Oakton, VA. Along with his parents, Ray is predeceased by his “favorite” son in-law Jim McNally, Jr., his brothers-in-law Vincent Marchese and Roberto Risita, his mother and father-in-law, Mary and Sebastian Damiata, Sr., and longtime friends, Sam and Celeste DelRusso.
Ray will be remembered as a devoted grandfather, mentor, and fan of his grandchildren who were the pride and joy of his life, Taylor, Emma, and Brooklyn Libera of East Haddam, Olivia and Owen Delisle of Portland, and Jackson and Maya McNally of Cromwell. Whether it was their sports or their artwork, he was always their biggest fan. He never missed any of their games or meets including, basketball, gymnastics, cross country, track, soccer, golf, & horseback riding. Ray was also blessed to have step-grandchildren, Nicholas and Andrea McNally, and Jillian and Dawn McNally and their family.
He loved his in-laws Margie Marchese and John Schena, Sebastian and Penny Damiata, Marie Risita and Mark O’Brien, Debbie and John Hagel, and his numerous nieces and nephews. Ray treasured his lifelong friendships with Nick and Linda Carroll and Bill and Pat Krakunas.
Ray owned and was the former President of Cromwell Concrete Products, a multi-generational family business, where he worked for over 60 years. He was an avid hunter and fisherman, but was most proud of being an award-winning winemaker. No one could leave the house without sampling his famous homemade red wine. Ray loved spending time with his family at the Charlestown cottage playing ping pong and cornhole, boating, clamming, crabbing, and playing games at night after big family dinners. If he beat you at ping pong once, he would never play you again! He loved his time on the salt pond with family and friends. There was nothing he cherished more than his time at the head of table surrounded by family. Ray was an extremely enthusiastic UConn Women’s basketball fan, attending many Final Fours across the country. He loved his Yankees and Giants, especially when they beat the Red Sox and the Patriots.
Ray grew up in Cromwell, CT, and was a graduate of Franklin and Marshall College. He was an exceptional all around athlete excelling in basketball and baseball at Cromwell High School. He was known for his strong work ethic and instilled that trait in his children. He was proud and supportive of all that they came to be. He was a quiet man and a good listener, yet never hesitated to make a joke or deliver friendly sarcasm, and he always enjoyed sharing an incredible glass of wine. He was a devoted family man and friend. In his quiet presence, Ray leaves an indelible mark on all who knew him.
Ray and his family especially appreciated the amazing care from his “angel nurse” Anne Burkhart.
At Ray’s request, there will be private family burial. A Celebration of Ray’s life will be held on Monday, July 19th, 2021, for all who wish to attend from 12-4 pm at the Elks Club Crystal Ballroom, 44 Maynard St. Middletown, CT. In lieu of flowers, donations in Ray’s memory may be made to the Jim McNally Memorial Golf Tournament in support of Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Checks can be made payable to DFCI and mailed to Liberty Bank, 534 Main St., Cromwell, CT 06416, or can be made via the JMMGT fundraising page at http://danafarber.jimmyfund.org/goto/mcnally2021. To share memories or send condolences to the family, please visit www.doolittlefuneralservice.com
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