Ray Golterman, 98, of Brick, New Jersey, passed away on March 25. Born in Utica, NY to parents George Sr. and Helen, he grew up on Staten Island, NY with siblings Gertrude, Jane, Robert, and William. Ray graduated from Sacred Heart in Staten island, where he was an altar boy and sang in the choir, and from St Peter’s High School in 1939. Ray attended the University of Alabama until he joined the Navy after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Ray was made a Quartermaster in the Navigation Division, and departed on the USS Montpelier, CL57, for the South Pacific. Ray and his shipmates fought the Japanese from the farthest reaches of their empire in the Solomon Islands, and up many of the Pacific island chains to help defeat Japan. He and his shipmates evacuated US and Allied prisoners of war and walked the streets of Hiroshima just weeks after the Japanese surrender. The brave men of the USS Montpelier earned 13 Battle Stars, a Navy Unit Citation for decisive action in the Battle of Empress Augusta Bay and a Philippine Presidential Medal for the liberation of the Philippines. After the war, Ray returned to Staten Island, graduated from Manhattan College, and married Patricia Hennessy, also of Staten Island, NY. They lived in Pittsburgh, travelled extensively throughout the mid-west and eventually settled in West Des Moines IA to start a family. A move back to SI, NY in the early 60’s saw Ray, Pat and now two children re-united with family and friends. They opened the Lancaster Men’s Shop in SI, NY, after which Ray worked in sales for various apparel manufacturers throughout his 40-year career. At age 65, Ray retired to settle in Brick, NJ. Ray was a lifelong practicing Catholic, an avid fan of tennis – even playing up into his 90’s, who loved classical and big band music. Throughout his life he loved going to concerts at the Met and especially Radio City Music Hall. He enjoyed staying connected with his shipmates at USS Montpelier reunions. In 2019, his fellow members of the Cruiser Sailors Association, spear-headed an effort that led to Ray receiving a Distinguished Service Medal from the Governor of New Jersey for his service to our country in World War II. Ray was hugely grateful to the men of the Cruiser Sailors Association and cherished his times with them at quarterly meetings.
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Ray is survived by his loving children Jeffry (Linda), of Wilton, CT and Elaine Diahy (Ronald) of Manasquan, NJ, whose loving memories of Ray will stay with them forever. Also surviving Ray are his four grandsons Steven, Paul, and Michael Diahy, and Gregory Golterman, whose special bonds with Ray sprung from shared sacraments, holidays, sports and concerts activities. Ray is also survived by many nieces and nephews who cherished Ray’s involvement in their family gatherings and was a most enjoyable part of his life.
A private family viewing, due to the restrictions on gatherings during the COVID-19 outbreak, will be held at Orender Funeral Home, Manasquan NJ on Tuesday, March 31, with burial to follow at Brigadier General William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Wrightstown, N.J. In lieu of flowers, please send memorial donations to USS Montpelier Scholarship Fund, Norwich University, 158 Harmon Dr, Northfield, VT 05663. To send condolences to the family please visit www.orenderfamilyhome.com.