MADRID –- Raymond A. Stiles, 86, a longtime resident of State Highway 345, peacefully passed away Saturday evening, October 16, 2021 at Canton-Potsdam Hospital.
Ray was born on November 5, 1934 in Massena, the son of the late Joseph A. and Walda (Perrica) Stiles. He attended schools in Massena before moving to the Madrid area, where he attended Madrid-Waddington Schools. On February 2, 1955, he entered the US Army, serving his country during the Korean Conflict with the Engineers Unit 3rd Battalion. He was honorably discharged on November 30, 1957 and continued in the Reserves until January 1963. On June 21, 1958, he married Lodine Sherman at the Madrid United Methodist Church with Rev. Charles Rudd, officiating. She predeceased him on August 23, 2010.
Before entering the Army, Ray worked for a milk plant in Waddington. After returning home, he started his career in the petroleum fuel delivery and distribution industry in the North Country. He worked for many local companies before purchasing a truck and starting his own fuel distribution business to many local homes, businesses, and local construction companies. After closing this business, he started driving bus for Madrid-Waddington Central School, where he remained for 6 years. After leaving the school in 1996, he started driving for NYSARC, where he remained for several years until his retirement.
Ray was a lifelong member of the United Church of Madrid, where he was a trustee for many years. Ray had a strong commitment to the Madrid community serving as a member of the Madrid Fire Department for 58 years with many years as their treasurer and was awarded Fireman of the Year in 1988. His commitment to serving continued throughout the county as he was a longstanding member of the St. Lawrence County Fire Police, serving as their treasurer since 1983. He would often be seen directing traffic around various emergency scenes and community events and greatly enjoyed playing “Santa Claus” for many community holiday events. In addition to his love for his community, Ray had an equally great love for antique cars, collecting several throughout the years and being an active member of the St. Lawrence County Antique Car Club – serving as their president four times.
Ray is survived by his daughters and their husbands, Susan and Ray Wagner of Wadsworth, Ohio and Lisa and Clint Whiteford of Diamond, Ohio; his daughter-in-law, Sue Stiles of Massena; his grandchildren, Cori (Caleb) Ehrich, Sara (Drew) Creswell, Clay Wadsworth, Gary James (Keshon) Sharlow, Nicole Stiles, Paige Bourdeau, Matthew (Amanda) Smith, Amber Whiteford, and Tyler (Emily) Whiteford; and 12 great grandchildren.
Ray is also survived by his sisters, Mary Jane Gies, Gloria Jarvis, and Kathy Smith; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
In addition to his parents and wife, he was predeceased by his son, Gary R. Stiles on August 15, 2019; his brother, Gerald Stiles and his sister, Odena Caswell.
Friends may call at the Donaldson-Seymour Funeral Home, 4 Cedar Street, Potsdam on Friday 4-7:00 PM, where his funeral service will be held on Saturday at 11:00 AM with Pastor Rick Sinclair, officiating. Burial with military and fireman’s honors will follow in Madrid Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made in his memory to the Madrid Fire Department or the United Church of Madrid.
Friends are encouraged to share memories and offer condolences online at www.donaldsonseymour.com.