Exeter, NH — Raymond “Ray” L. Bessom, 92, passed away peacefully on May 3, 2013, at the Exeter Hospital in Exeter, N.H.
Born in Lynn, Mass., Ray was the son of Frank and Ida (French) Bessom. He was a member of Lynn English High School Class of 1938 and is remembered as an exceptional athlete. Ray played football, basketball and was the captain of the baseball team, leading them to the 1937 state championship. That same year he was the winning pitcher of the “Little World Series” on the East Lynn Legion Post 291 baseball team.
Ray married his high school sweetheart, Shirley Atherton, in 1941 and shortly afterward entered the U.S. Army. He served as a Staff Sergeant during WWII from 1942 to 1945 in France and Germany. He worked at General Electric and lived in Lynn until 1961, and then moved to Salem, N.H., and worked at Avco in Wilmington, Mass., until his retirement in 1980.
Ray spent most of his retirement years in Ashland, N.H., where he enjoyed many outdoor activities, especially driving his tractor and keeping the wood shed filled. He also loved golfing and traveling with his wife, Shirley. Ray and Shirley lived in Newton, N.H., for 10 years before becoming residents of the Rockingham County Nursing Home/Barka Assisted Living in Brentwood, N.H.
Ray is survived by his wife of 71 years, Shirley (Atherton) Bessom; his son, Ray Jr. and wife, Marlin of Mayaguez, Puerto Rico; and his daughters and their spouses, Judy and Mike Previer of Danville, N.H., and Carolyn “Cally” and Ron Lessard of Haverhill, Mass. Ray was the beloved grandfather of six grandchildren, Brenda, Patty and Raysee Bessom, Cheryl (Previer) Whitcher and Jake Previer, Paul “PJ” Verrell; and the great-grandfather of Stacy, Josh and Orli.
Ray was predeceased by his brothers, Kenneth, Frank “Babe,” and Russell; and his sister, Helen.
ARRANGEMENTS: The family will honor Ray at a private family gathering. Memorial gifts in his name may be donated to the Disabled American Veterans at DAV Charitable Service Trust, 3725 Alexandria Pike, Cold Spring, KY. The donation form can be downloaded from their website at www.CST.DAV.org.