April 3, 1918 — Oct. 25, 2013
Renato Alberto Massei passed away on Friday, Oct. 25, 2013, at Alderson’s Convalescence Hospital in Woodland. Born in Santa Rosa on April 3, 1918, to Guido and Iris Massei, he was 95. He grew up in the North Beach area of San Francisco.
Ray spent his early years working the West Coast in varied capacities; among them, as a fire eater and elephant keeper with a traveling circus. He worked as a wrangler, in shipyards and in movie theaters.
He joined the army in 1942, serving with Patton’s 3rd Army in Europe and joined in the liberation of concentration camps, which haunted him for years. Among his medals was a Bronze Star, Battle of the Bulge, and a letter from the president of France.
He married Gloria Kerr in 1953 and together they raised their family in Palo Alto. They were married for just over 60 years. He worked for 20 years as a Borden’s milkman and later for the San Francisco Newspaper Group, which included the San Francisco Examiner and Chronicle. He retired in 1983 and moved from Palo Alto to Ben Lomond. In 1995 Ray and Gloria moved to Winters, where Ray worked part time for the Winters Express until he was 93.
Ray loved to garden, and helped neighbors and friends trim their roses. He was a member of the Rose and Fuchsias Societies. He was active with the Boy Scouts and spent many family vacations in Yosemite National Park, where he looked forward to watching the “fire falls” at night. He was an avid camper and fisherman. He was awarded the Order of the Arrow from the Boy Scouts of America, Camp Ojedo.
Besides his family, he loved his dogs, having raised several different breeds over the years. He was a member of the local Lions Club, VFW and Lutheran Church in Vacaville. Over the years he was also a member of the Elks and UNICO, an Italian service organization.
He is survived by his wife Gloria, of Winters; children, Bob (Eve) Bingham, Darla Spradlin, Roy Evilsizer (Jeanne), David Evilsizer (Gail) and Sherri Wallace (Charley); daughter-in-law Sherilyn Cook; many grandchildren, great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers Bruno Massei and Paul Ghirardelli, and his son Denis Bingham.
Funeral services will begin at 9:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 15, at Bethany Lutheran Church, 621 S. Orchard Ave. in Vacaville. The military burial will be at 11 a.m., at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery, 5810 Midway Road in Dixon. A reception will follow in the DeVilbiss Room at the Buckhorn in Winters.