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1950 Ray 2023

Ray R Parent

August 26, 1950 — July 31, 2023

Ray R. Parent 72, a fifty (50) year Broward County and longtime Fort Lauderdale resident died on Monday, July 31, 2023. Ray was born and raised with five of six siblings in Van Buren, Maine, a small town on the US-Canadian border near Grand Falls, New Brunswick. In 1968, Ray graduated with honors from Van Buren District High School and in 1970 from Southern Maine Vocational Institute with High Honors in Culinary Arts. After a brief stint in Portland as a baker-chef, Ray headed for the warmer climes of South Florida. In 1971 Ray arrived in Orlando , FL, and was hired as a baker by Walt Disney World. Ray labored in the underground kitchens of the now world renown theme park in preparation for its October 1st 1971 Grand Opening. After the Grand Opening, Ray decided to come to Fort Lauderdale and the rest is history. Beginning In 1973, Ray began what would become a nearly 34-year career with PUBLIX SUPER MARKETS, INC. retiring in February 2006. During his tenure Ray was promoted from apprentice baker , to baker, to assistant bakery manager, to bakery manager, and ended his career with extensive Southeast Florida regional supervisory duties and responsibilities as a “BRC”, Bakery Retail Coordinator, for PUBLIX’s Miami Division. Ray was recognized numerous times by PUBLIX management for his emphasis on employee training, standardization of product line, pricing, workplace sanitation and safety. Ray is credited with nurturing and mentoring many of today’s PUBLIX Bakery associates for their successful advancement in the company. In private life Ray enjoyed travel by land, sea, and air. With his ex domestic partner and lifelong confidante, Stephen Popiel, Ray visited 31 US states and territories including Alaska and Hawaii, 16 countries and territories in the Caribbean, Central and South America as well as 24 countries in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. Ray also enjoyed live theater, especially Broadway musicals and plays as well as film and popular concert artists. In addition Ray was an avid Pinochle card player and in Las Vegas a video poker aficionado. Ray’s wry sense of humor and his kind and gentile demeanor will be sorely missed. In reflection, a celebration venue of Ray’s life is now being planned for later this year. There is so much gratitude now formally expressed for the extraordinary care provided by Dr. Victor A. Velez-Aldahondo, neurologist, his assistant Angela Dixon and staff of Holy Cross Hospital’s Phil Smith Neuroscience Institute. The same expressed gratitude for Ray’s palliative hospice care provided by Dr. Angela M. Rodriquez, MD of VITAS/Broward Health, and VITAS team 146; case nurse Elizabeth, social worker Jean, and care giver Marie. Also for the 24/7 activities of daily life assistance and compassion rendered by Emerald Elite Senior Home Care of Wilton Manors’ management (Aaron & Kimberly) and especially to the 24/7 in-home staff Kevin Sutherland and Dominic Wieland. Ray is predeceased by his parents Cecile and Hector, and Brother Don. He is survived by his longtime friend Stephen Popiel. Brothers: Gerard (Barbara) and Norman (Jennifer) Parent of Van Buren, Maine. Chanel (Tina) of Pownal, Vermont. Sisters: Rene (Nelson) and Stella (Allan) of Van Buren, Stepsister Marise Ouellette of NB, Canada, and many nieces and nephews. Online condolences can be shared at edkalis.com. Arrangements entrusted to Edwards Cremation and Funeral Services, Wilton Manors. 954-566-5564
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