Raymond A. Gorham, 84, of Youngdale Rd., Lock Haven, took his final flight on Friday, March 18th at the Gate House, Williamsport. Born in 1937 in Lock Haven, he was the son of the late Raymond and Naomi Messner Gorham. Ray was known as “Raymie” to his siblings and “Pap-Pap” and “Pappy” to his grand & great grandchildren. He was a 1955 graduate of Lock Haven High School where he was often seen chasing the escaped family goats, getting them back home before school started.
Ray was an avid hunter and has many fond memories of camp at Beech Creek Mountain too many to mention and few that are appropriate to tell.
He grew up working alongside his father welding and developing skills becoming a master mechanic. For many years, he was an integral part of the award-winning team for Don Spangler Ford. He could take anything apart and put it back together, usually making it go faster. He loved speed and had a special relationship with the Lock Haven police. Ray was known to say that he “was paying their salary”. Well into his 70s, he worked at PENN DOT “fixin their yellow junk”.
The Lock Haven Airport was Ray’s second home. Many memories were created by Ray, especially for those treated to their first airplane ride. He never really retired from his job there, operating the fuel truck and handling the front desk. Ray was very passionate about his “toys” but babied the most, his 1946 Piper Cub, “Happy Days” (also his favorite saying).
Along with the airport family, he could always be found at the Sentimental Journey fly-ins, overseeing the cooking of the breakfast sausages. Every year Ray traveled to the Oshkosh air show in Wisconsin, searching for parts for his many “project planes”. He was a member of the Quiet Birdmen, a flying club in the United States for aviators who loved the sky. Ray often noted “There’s nothing like flying, I just feel free”.
Ray is survived by his loving wife of 42 years Rosemarie (Klim) Gorham of Lock Haven,
two daughters, Susan Gorham Miller of Lock Haven, Diane Gorham Perry (Matthew) of North Bennington, VT, and two sons, Jeff Gorham (Danette) of Trout Run and Jim Gorham (Nadine) of Mill Hall. He is also survived by his brothers Paul Gorham (MA),
Jacob Gorham (Mill Hall) and three sisters, Rosie Dotterer (Mill Hall), Virginia (Ginny) Charette (MA), Martha Fisher (Mill Hall).
His 12 grandchildren brought him proud joy; Tommy, Brandon, James (Mary), Natasha, Trevor (Tressa), Dillon (Tasha), Justin, Cassidy, Maxwell and Jack. 11 great grandchildren; Makayla, Riley, Daniel, Eli, Mary, James, Micha, Waylon, Stefan, Ruby Rae, Silas plus many nieces, nephews, and good friends.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, Sam, David and three sisters, Naomi “Kitty” Stoner, Lula “Chip” Moore, Bertha “Bertie” Hackenberg, and Dorothy Hummer.
The family would like to thank the kind and caring staff at the Gatehouse of the Divine Providence in Williamsport.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Ray’s memory to either organizations: The Piper Aviation Museum at www.pipermuseum.com 570-748-8283 or to support the Sentimental Journey Annual Fly-In. Mail to Sentimental Journey Inc. PO Box J-3, Lock Haven, PA 17745 or 570-893-4200.
A funeral service will be held at 12:00 p.m. Saturday, March 26th at the Piper Aviation Museum, 1 Piper Way, Lock Haven, PA 17745 with Pastor Josh Grimes officiating. Friends and relatives will be received from 10:00 – 12:00 at the museum.
Followed by the burial at Linnwood Cemetery at McElhatten.
A celebration of Ray’s life will then follow back at the Piper Aviation Museum.
Helt Funeral Chapel, 232 Hogan Blvd., Mill Hall has charge of arrangements.
The service can be viewed on the Helt Funeral Chapel Facebook page at Noon.
Online condolences can be sent to MaxwellHelt.com.
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