Raymond Kenneth Luci went Home to be with the Lord on Wednesday, July 5, 2023.
Raymond was born in New York City on October 19, 1932. His parents, Warner Seigfried Luci and Elsa Kehrer Luci, both of whom had immigrated from Germany, lived in Linden, New Jersey at the time. Little Raymond was born in a state in which he never lived!
At the age of four, the family of three moved to Moline, Illinois, where Raymond attended public schools until he was a junior in high school. He also regularly attended the First Congregational Church where he was first introduced to his Savior, Jesus Christ. Ray (as he liked to be called) loved sports, especially baseball, basketball and golf, and developed a hobby of collecting stamps.
When his dad retired from his position at American Machine and Metals in 1949 to operate a motel and service station in Flagstaff, Arizona, Ray completed his high school education in 1950 in Flagstaff and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1951 for four years. He received training in Electronics Fundamentals at Keesler AFB, Biloxi, MS and Lowry AFB, Denver, CO, and was involved in maintaining remote control turret systems on B-36 bombers, which were never deployed during the Korean conflict. He was stationed at Travis AB, Fairfield, CA, and Biggs AFB, El Paso, TX.
Upon his discharge from the Air Force in 1955, Ray enrolled at the University of Arizona in Tucson, graduating with a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1959. His first job was with the General Electric Company. His first year was on an engineering training program at three different departments: Atomic Power Equipment Department (APED) in San Jose, CA, Jet Propulsion Department in Cincinnati, OH, and Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Department, also in Cincinnati. He met his future wife, Blythe Gail Carlson, at a G.E. singles gathering on July 1, 1959. They were engaged to be married while they were visiting with Blythe's parents in Creston, IA, during the Christmas holidays. In January, 1960, Ray completed his training program and took a permanent position in San Jose with APED. Several months later, Blythe was able to get a transfer from Cincinnati to San Jose. They were married on June 11, 1960 in Creston, lowa, thus getting married in a state in which he had never lived! Ray worked on the design and development of control rod drives for commercial nuclear reactors and navy ship reactors.
After living in the San Jose, California, area for approximately 2 ½ years, Ray accepted a position with General Atomics, in San Diego, CA, where Ray was employed as a Mechanical/Nuclear Engineer for 31 years, retiring in October 1993. Ray and Blythe rented a house in Del Mar and lived there for three years before building their own home on1 ¼ acres among fruit trees and pine trees on Lugano Lane in Del Mar. Initially, Ray's scope of work was in control rod drive design. However, for the major and remaining time, he was involved in the design and development of reactor core and core support structures for commercial high-temperature gas-cooled reactors. He also was the principle design engineer for what became known as the "Luci Lock" which alleviated reactor core fluctuations at the Ft. St. Vrain Nuclear Power Station outside Denver, CO.
Ray and Blythe reared three children, Bryan, Gail and Monica. Ray, Blythe and their three children grew in their mutual love for their Lord Jesus Christ. Ray served on various church boards (First Baptist Church of Encinitas, Scott Memorial Baptist Church in Solana Beach, and First Baptist Church of Vista) as Deacon and Elder. Ray also served on several school boards (Victory Christian in Carlsbad, Santa Fe Christian in Solana Beach, and Tri-City Christian in Vista) and later on the Board of Directors for three public Charter Schools, known as The Classical Academies, in Escondido and Oceanside.
As someone said, as was borne out in their lives, as they drew closer to God and their love for Him, they drew closer to each other and their love for each other.
In late 2010, Ray sold his home of 45 years in Del Mar, CA, and moved to Franklin, TN, where his daughter Monica lives. He was a member of Fellowship Bible Church in Franklin.
Ray is survived by his son Bryan (Jane) and his daughters Gail (Brian) and Monica (Mark); his grandchildren Zach (Lexie), Alex, David, Evan, Matthew, Caleb, Alison, and Alyssa, and a great grandson that is due to arrive this month. He was preceded in death by his parents and his wife of 40 years, Blythe.
A service will be held at a later date at the Middle Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery.