Raymond Bertani, 83, passed away on Tuesday, May 14, 2019, at Erlanger Hospital following a brief illness.
Born on Sept. 7, 1935, in Astoria, NY. He attended New York University, served as a sergeant, first class in the New York National Guard from 1955-1961.
In 1953 he began his career with Ciba-Geigy Corporation as a lab technician.
He married the love of his life, Rosemarie, on May 9, 1959.
In 1961, the family moved to Chattanooga, where he began work as the lab manager for the Tennessee division.
From 1973 to 1975, the family lived in Texas while Ray was the branch manager for the Dallas division of the company.
The family returned to Chattanooga in 1975 and Ray worked as branch manager for the Atlanta division.
In 1992, Ray became the executive director of the Carpet Team. In 1995, after 42 years of service, he retired from Ciba-Geigy.
From 1995 to 2000, he worked with Polychem Subsidiary of JLM Industries, Rite Industries, Global Chemical Solutions, and Manufacturers Chemical Co. in sales management and marketing.
He was a 50-year member of the AATCC (American Association of Textiles, Chemists, and Colorists).
Ray was a founding member and active parishioner of St. Stephen Catholic Church in Chattanooga, where he previously served on the parish council and as a lector, and most recently as an usher. He was very active in the Knights of Columbus, Holy Family Council #6099 and was a 4th Degree Knight.
Ray happily spent his retirement years as a volunteer at the Tennessee Aquarium and at Memorial Hospital. He enjoyed dancing with the Choo Choo Shag Club, playing bocce, attending the Chattanooga Symphony, and traveling with friends. He also loved going on beach vacations and spending time with his beloved family.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Mae Bertani of Queens, NY.
He leaves behind his wife of 60 years, Rosemarie Bertani; his sons: Raymond (Michelle) and Chris (Christine) of Chattanooga, TN, David (Elizabeth) of Nashville, TN, and Mike (Susan) of Leeds, AL; seven grandchildren: Nick, Mia, Max, Joey, Will, Liza, and Benjy; brother, Richard (Sue) Bertani of Windsor, CA; nephews and niece: Jon Bertani, Todd Bertani, and Amy Snow; and many close friends.
Everyone who had the privilege of knowing Ray would tell you that he was a well-respected person of great integrity and outstanding character. He was lovingly called “Papa” and “Papa Ray” by his grandchildren who cherished and adored him.
Ray and Rosemarie recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. They have been a shining example to all of the true meaning of the sacrament of marriage.
A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 24, at St. Stephen Catholic Church with Father Manuel Perez officiating.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Stephen’s Catholic Church.
Visit www.heritagechattanooga.com to share condolences and view the memorial tribute.
The family will receive friends from 5-8 p.m. (Rosary at 7:45 p.m.) on Thursday, May 23, at Heritage Funeral Home, 7454 E. Brainerd Road.