Peaceful 03

Raymond Francis McDonald

April 2, 1954 ~ February 5, 2024 (age 69) 69 Years Old

Raymond McDonald Obituary

Raymond Francis McDonald, Jr. passed away peacefully, at home on February 5, 2024. His optimistic and determined attitude was with him until he entered eternal rest.

Ray was born in Jersey City, New Jersey on April 2, 1954. He was the third of six children and the oldest son of Raymond senior and Rosanna McDonald. The family lived in West New York, NJ where he attended St Joseph Catholic School and was bestowed with the nickname of “Frenchie”. In 1971, he was instrumental in taking the Blue Jays Basketball team onto winning the NJ State Championship, the only time in school history. After graduation he attended the University of Nebraska at Omaha on a basketball scholarship.

He later enlisted in the United States Airforce, achieving the rank of sergeant, and was stationed at McGuire AFB, NJ.  He often joked that he joined the military to see the world, but never left NJ!

After being honorably discharged, he went onto a career as a letter carrier with the United States Postal Service at Princeton, NJ.  Ray was a leader and activist and soon became shop steward for the National Association of Letter Carriers, Princeton Branch 268. This was a position that he embraced as a tough negotiator and advocate for the grievance process.

As the years went by, he was elected vice president and later become president of the branch. His unwavering determination and leadership got the attention of the NALC at the national level, where he was chosen to act as an Arbitration Advocate. This meant that he would represent a letter carrier who was being brought up on charges and could potentially lose their job. Ray took this responsibility very seriously.  He spent long hours researching, preparing, and ultimately presenting each case in front of an arbitrator. His goal was always to enforce the contract and protect the individual.

His true test of leadership & perseverance came in October 2001. Deadly anthrax had been found in the Trenton and Princeton postal facilities. The Princeton building was swarming with government investigators wearing hazmat suits and was quickly shut down.  While postal management lacked a viable plan for this disaster, Ray quickly and calmly notified the carriers and employees.  He worked with the management team and devised a plan to erect tents in the post office parking lot so that the clerks and carriers could sort incoming mail and have it delivered to all customers. With many standup talks, he continued to motivate the carriers to use caution but to keep on delivering the mail with pride.

In addition, over the years, he held other positions in the union: UMPs Team Representative, Director of Education for the NJ State Board, Coordinator for the yearly National Food Drive, and was very active in NALC legislative activities and letter carrier causes.

In January 2007, Ray was appointed as full time Regional Administrative Assistant to work with the Business Agent, Bill Lucini in Philadelphia, PA. In this prestigious position, he would now be part of the team to represent letter carriers in southern New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Ray retired in 2015 and moved to Bluffton, SC. There he enjoyed a fun life of beautiful beaches and endless golf courses. He embraced his new southern lifestyle, but always remained a life- long NY Yankees and NY Giants fan (only uttering “Y’All a few times!)

Raymond was pre-deceased by his father Raymond senior, his mother Rosanna (Mansmann), sister Eileen, brother Matthew and sister-in-law Barbara.

He was a loving husband and is survived by his wife of 24 years, Carol (Castley), his beloved son Ryan, sister Nora and husband Danny O’Donnell, brother Timothy and wife Cindy, and brother Sean McDonald. Ray was adored by all of his nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great- nephews. He was also loved by his many cousins, friends, and neighbors. His outgoing personality and flair for storytelling garnished him with many friends from all different walks of life and of all age groups.  He will be greatly missed by all.

A visitation will be held on Thursday, February 15, 2024 from 2:00-4:00 PM, at Saul’s Funeral Home, Bluffton, SC,

His cremated remains will be honored at the Brigadier General William C. Doyle Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery in Wrightstown, NJ, preceded by an additional visitation at a funeral home in NJ. Further information to follow at a later date.  SEE THIS OBITUARY FOR UPDATES.  

The family would like to express their deepest gratitude for the compassionate and loving care provided by the nurses and staff of Hospice Care of the Low Country. We will never forget your kindness.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Hospice of the Low Country, PO Box 3827, Bluffton, SC 29910 or to the charity of your choice.

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