Henry Raymond “Ray” Schwalm died August 25, 2021. Born December 25, 1925 in Battle Creek, Michigan to his parents Henry and Helen Schwalm, Ray was a child of the Great Depression, experiencing the austerity and hardships of so many of that generation. While attending Lakeview High School, Ray met someone who would have a big influence on his life--the school’s principal, Ted Thomas. Ted became Ray’s mentor and friend, teaching Ray what was to become a lifelong love of fly fishing. Some of Ray’s happiest moments were with Ted, his father “Hank”, and his brother Robert (1928-2008), exploring the pristine trout streams and beaver ponds of Michigan in search of the elusive “Lunker”. Ray passed on his love for beautiful natural surroundings, wilderness, and the great outdoors to his children, an inheritance they treasure to this day.
Upon graduating high school, duty called, and Ray answered the call, leaving home at age 18 to save the world in WWII. He trained as a tank driver, and as part of the 10th Armored Division played an important role in the Battle of the Bulge. His selfless actions earned him a Bronze Star.
Serving out the last months of his service at Fort Meade, Md., he met and married Olive Fewell (1926-1997), with whom he had two children, and lived nearly 30 years in Rockville, Maryland. He retired from the Washington Gas Light Company in 1984 after 38 years with the company.
After his first marriage ended in divorce, he married Doris North (1992). For several years they lived in Damascus, Maryland and made many good friends. During this time Ray worked as a bus driver for children with special needs, work he found deeply rewarding. Ray and Doris enjoyed traveling, including visits to Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Montana, and Iowa. In 2015, Ray and Doris moved to Taneytown, Maryland. Over the course of his life, Ray developed treasured friendships in his community and church. No matter how you knew Ray, you knew him as an honest and generous person: as a videographer (he voluntarily taped football games for the Rockville High School football team); as a congregant and a lay leader in one of his three churches (St. Mark’s Methodist Church; Damascus Methodist, and Messiah United Methodist, Taneytown); as a chorus member (with the Rockville Men’s Choir); as a member of his carpool; as a golfer; a competitive runner; a Mason; as a veteran (a member of VFW Post 171); as a member of the Lions Club; as a neighbor; as a mentor; or simply as a friend.
We know his greatest wish—to be remembered as a good man—will be granted by all who knew him. Ray is survived by his wife (Doris), his children Bruce (Kim Krause) and Leslie Ann (Doris Stormoen), Kim and Bruce’s children (Victor and Olivia) and Bruce’s son Jason by an earlier marriage, by Doris’s children Lisa Gray and Gary (Robyn) North and their children (Alex and Liam), and by his nieces Carol Casey (Gordon) and Margaret Bradley (Michael). Services will be held at Messiah United Methodist Church in Taneytown, MD on Monday, September 6th at 11am. The service will be livestreamed at https://www.facebook.com/messiahumcgb. Visitation at Messiah U.M. Church in Taneytown begins at 10am. Inurnment at Damascus Methodist Church Cemetery in Damascus, MD will be at 1:00 pm.
Masks and vaccination at all ceremonies are requested out of respect for Ray and Doris’ wishes, as well as the safety of all in attendance. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Carroll Hospice, 292 Stoner Ave., Westminster, MD 21157. Arrangements have been entrusted to MYERS-DURBORAW FUNERAL HOME in Taneytown, MD.