Ray Wells passed away in the early morning of Nov. 24, 2021, at the age of 61. He is remembered as a devoted and loving husband, a proud father, and most of all, as a dear friend to all. With a twinkle in his eye and permanent smile on his face, his personality would light up a room with love and laughter.
Ray was born in Washington, D.C., graduated from Ohio University in 1982, and immediately moved to Pasadena, California. Fitting of his warm, outgoing personality, he first tried his hand at acting. He ultimately enjoyed a successful 30-year career in real estate, devoting his energy to not only his clients, but to mentoring others. He managed offices, served the Pasadena-area MLS board on numerous committees including the role of president, and served as a representative for the California Association of Realtors. For many years, he joyfully ran the weekly Pasadena Realtor MLS caravan meeting, where he delighted everyone with his quick wit and natural stand-up humor, and where, in 2002, he met the love of his life, his wife, May.
Ray played tennis most of his life, and was known among the tennis community for his great skill and competitive drive to win, which blended with an ever-present courteous sportsmanship — a combination that made him an absolute joy to play with and against. He formed many long and deep friendships on the courts and with those friends enjoyed many tournament championships. His boisterous holler on the court — delivered in response to his own errors — will not soon be forgotten.
Known affectionately by his wife as an “energizer bunny,” Ray was heavily involved in his community as a member of Rotary Club, San Gabriel Chamber of Commerce, San Marino Chamber of Commerce, San Marino Tennis Foundation, Church of Our Savior, Boy Scouts, PTA and San Gabriel Educational Foundation. He also completed 10 Pasadena and Los Angeles Marathons.
When Ray was diagnosed with young-onset Alzheimer’s disease in May 2016, he and his wife, May, became passionate advocates for Alzheimer’s research, choosing to go public with his diagnosis so that he could educate people and help secure a future where others will not suffer his fate. In his role as advocate, he proudly threw out a ceremonial first pitch at Dodger Stadium, raised tens of thousands of dollars for the Alzheimer’s Association through his Walks to End Alz, met with Congressional representatives in Washington, D.C., as an Alzheimer’s Association Ambassador, made numerous television appearances and participated in a drug trial. While he was aware that this disease was aggressive and would take him early, he had a great desire to help others while he could so that his suffering would not be in vain. Despite that knowledge, he was an eternal optimist, and maintained hope that he could perhaps be the first to survive this insidious disease.
Ray is survived by his wife, May, his two children, Page and John, his two step-children Madeline and Andrew, and countless beloved friends.
You can honor Ray’s beautiful life and his brave battle with young-onset Alzheimer’s Disease by making a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association @ Alz.org. A celebration of his life will be held in Pasadena, California, early in 2022 with details to be announced.