Reinaldo ‘Ray’ Torres

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PINE PLAINS — Reinaldo “Ray” Torres, 56, an 18-year resident of Pine Plains, passed away on Aug. 16, 2011, at Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie.

He was born in New York City on Jan. 3, 1955, the son of the late Elvira (Ortiz) and Reinaldo Torres.

In 1974, Ray began five years of active military service in the U.S. Navy during which he achieved the rank of hospital corpsman second class and earned a Good Conduct Award as well as a Humanitarian Service Medal. From 1979 to 1986, Ray served in the U.S. Navy Reserves.

He married Pamela J. Chase on Feb. 24, 1979, in La Crosse, Wis. She survives at home.

Just as his travels and experiences in the military influenced a later love of history, many of the other interests from his early life defined the man he became.

Having worked for a local veterinarian as a teenager, Ray’s longtime love for animals ensured that many dogs, birds and one very special cat were welcomed into his family over the years.

His fondness for music and humor, as demonstrated by a radio show (“The Bob and Ray Show”) that he cohosted while stationed in the Philippines, was just one early indicator of the type of home he would create for his family, one filled with great tunes, laughter and conversation.

Ray continued to build upon his love of cameras and technology during his 28-year tenure in the photography industry, filling his home with beautiful pictures and building his own computers. Always hardworking, ever curious and continually striving to learn more about our world, Ray spent many of his off-hours traveling, camping, canoeing, kayaking, snorkeling and stargazing.

As it was not uncommon for him to fix what others thought unfixable or too costly, his unique problem-solving abilities made car repair and home improvement projects seem deceptively simple.

Ray was passionate about environmental conservation as well as learning from history in order to make our future better.

He was a member of the American Legion and the Adirondack Mountain Club, and he loved watching Yankee baseball with his wife.

Ray never refused a helping hand to a friend in need. Words cannot express how much he will be missed by those who knew and loved him.

In addition to his loving wife, Pamela, Ray is survived by a daughter, Jennifer Becht of Secaucus, N.J.; and a sister, Elvira Riordan of Stanfordville.

Although his time with us was far too short, his life was filled with a wealth of experiences, accomplishments and interests.

A memorial service was held on Aug. 20 at the funeral home. Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Hudson Valley Food Bank, 195 Hudson St., Cornwall on Hudson, NY 12520.

The Peck & Peck Funeral Home in Pine Plains has charge of arrangements.To sign the online register go to www.peckandpeck.net.