August 29, 2007

Dear Family of Raymond Parsons and Friends/Shipmates,

My wife and I were very saddened to learn yesterday of Ray's passing from this earth. Ray and I were shipmates for two years, July 1967 to July 1969, including an eight month deployment to Vietnam, in USS Rich (DD 820).

USS Rich was an outstanding destroyer, largely because of the leadership and example of an exceptionally talented, experienced and responsible group of Chief Petty Officers. Experts in engineering, supply, administration, weapons, sensors, food service, communications, etc., these men made things happen, correctly. Among this constellation, Chief Radioman Raymond Parsons was a bright star who tirelessly dedicated himself to making certain that USS Rich was on frequency and didn't miss a message. Not only very aware of the importance of his radio gang and their equipment, he also would meet with me, as Rich's commanding officer, several times a day to make sure I was up-to-date on what was going on.

Ray was a strong leader, dedicated technician and guardian of our radio traffic. Equally important, he was a principled man of affable demeanor with a good sense of humor and ready laugh, fully dedicated to be a team player.

Years later through the USS Rich Association, we reestablished communications, enjoyed some laughs at several Rich Reunions and he kept my wife and I entertained for three or four years with nearly daily E-Mails: some thoughtfully religious, some visually unusual and many downright hilarious! Last Christmas I complimented him on continuing to be the "Great Communicator"!!

It has been an honor and pleasure to have known Ray Parsons . . . we will remember him in our prayers.

Ed Whelan
Captain USN (Ret)

Commanding Officer - USS Rich 1967-69




2007 by Marshall K DuBois
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