Raymond Boyington, 9.1941–07.2022

copyright 2022 Jack A. Urquhart

(For Raymond, who knew me well — and loved me anyway.)

After a four-month battle with aggressive brain cancer, Raymond Lee Boyington of Ventura, California, passed away on July 16, 2022, while in In-Home Hospice Care. He was 80. Raymond was born in Embden, Maine, the son of Frank Boyington and Alta Quimby Boyington. He was one of seven siblings.

Raymond leaves behind his partner and husband of twenty-four years, Jack Urquhart of Ventura, CA; Daughters, Dr. Sarah Gonda, Thousand Oaks, CA, and Katharine Boyington, Portland, OR; Son-in-law, Dr. John Gonda, Thousand Oaks; Granddaughter Danielle Boyington, San Francisco; Grandsons Dedrick Boyington, Brooklyn, NY, and Nate and Emmett Gonda, Thousand Oaks; and the mother of his daughters, Barbara Boyington, Mountain View, CA. His beloved former partner, Peter Bell, San Francisco, preceded him in death. Other family members include sister Betty LaPoint, Branford, CT; and brothers, Weldon Boyington, Andalusia, AL, Richard Boyington, Sebastian, FL, and Mahlon Boyington, Vero Beach, FL, as well as numerous nieces and nephews whom he loved very much. Not to be forgotten is a long list of dear friends, many of them lifelong, in the U.S, France, Mexico, and Norway.

Raymond received an MS in Physical Chemistry at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, where he was subsequently employed as a lecturer in the Department of Chemistry, as well as the coordinator and liaison for General Chemistry to the statewide university campuses (1969–1980). In addition, Raymond was a Fulbright Exchange Teacher (Kempston, England, 1991) and taught at numerous high schools in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the Harker School, San Jose, University High School, and Lick-Wilmerding High School, San Francisco. Raymond was a pioneer in supporting LGBTQ students and colleagues.  

A dedicated and exacting educator and scientist for over fifty years, Raymond mentored countless youths, many of whom have gone on to distinguished careers. He was the author of several widely used Chemistry textbooks and study guides, including Chemical Principles: Student Guide (1973, WB Saunders) and Study Guide for Chemical Principles (1981, WB Saunders).

Those privileged to know and love him will remember Ray for his generous spirit, love of beautiful things — music, literature, art — and his ability to work culinary magic. A self-taught gourmet, Raymond appreciated all things delicious; he was an expert at whipping up a feast from scratch. Raymond took a particular delight in a geta of beautifully presented, extra-fresh sushi, and his love of oysters on the half-shell was legendary among family and friends. 

But perhaps more than anything, Raymond will be remembered for his always inquiring mind and quick intellect, winning smile, ability to love and empathize deeply, and his unwavering dedication to family and friends. Not to be omitted from this list of Raymond’s greatest hits is the meticulous care he devoted to his much-prized (much envied), marvelously luxurious Hair.

Those who knew and loved Raymond will miss him more than these few words can express.

Donations: The American Cancer Society, https://bit.ly/3uUX3pX


About jaurquhart

Jack Andrew Urquhart was born in the American South. Following undergraduate work at the University of Florida, Gainesville, he taught in Florida's public schools. He earned a Master of Arts degree in English, Creative Writing, from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he was the winner of the Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Award for Fiction (1991). His work has appeared online at Clapboard House Literary Journal, Crazyhorse Literary Journal, and Standards: The International Journal of Multicultural Studies. He is the author of So They Say, a collection of self-contained, inter-connected stories and the short story, They Say You Can Stop Yourself Breathing. Formerly a writing instructor at the University of Colorado’s Writing Program, Mr. Urquhart was, until 2010, a senior analyst for the Judicial Branch of California. He resides in Washington State.
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4 Responses to Raymond Boyington, 9.1941–07.2022

  1. TermiteWriter says:

    Oh, Jack, I just came back to my computer and here was this email. I can’t express how sorry I am. I’ve had too many on-line friends pass away since I started social media back in 2015, and mostly from cancer. I didn’t have too many interactions with Ray, but I did so much enjoy those that I did have. I knew Ray had been sick, but I didn’t realize he was on hospice care. It’s a terrible loss, for you and all of those who knew him. So very sorry.

  2. Lois says:

    Beautiful words
    Beautiful man

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