Remembering Ray Nicholson

Raymond Johns Nicholson, of Oakland Township, Michigan, passed away and began eternal life on Saturday, November 30, 2019, at the age of 85. Ray was greeted by loved ones who predeceased him; his parents Thomas and Irene; brothers Thomas and William; son Raymond, Jr.; and daughter-in-love Mary.

Headshot of Ray wearing a suit and tie

Raymond Johns Nicholson

He was proud to be from New Jersey, where he was born on July 27, 1934, in North Arlington. Surviving to enjoy beautiful memories of Ray are his high school sweetheart and loving wife of sixty-five years, Mary; sons Mike (Christine,) Jim (Wendy,) daughter Cynthia (Robert,) daughter-in-love Kris; grandchildren Elisabeth (Brendan,) Stephen (Laura,) Benjamin, Matthew, Will, Megan (Glenn,) Hannah, Kyle, Colleen, Lauren, Austin; expected great grandchildren Olivia Rae and baby Nicholson; sister Mary Alice (Charles,) brother Robert; and many cousins, nieces and nephews.

Ray graduated from Hazel Park High School in 1952 and it was during the year before that the handsome swim team athlete, Ray, took a fancy for a pretty and young Irish Catholic girl named Mary Carrick. After Ray joined the Army and completed basic training, Ray and Mary were married in June, 1954, and their married life began at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.
Soon after, Ray and Mary moved back to Detroit. In 1958, Ray’s father, Tom, came to Ray and Ray’s brother, Bill, with the idea to start a retail inventory service business, which would eventually become the well-known and highly respected global inventory company, RGIS. Most satisfying to Ray was knowing that the company provided employment for tens of thousands of people who could then provide for their own families.

Ray earned the reputation of being a very smart, astute, energetic and ingenious entrepreneur. He never retired. His most recent business ventures included restaurants, a craft beer brewing company, an all-natural chocolate energy candy product, and large water mist cooling fans.

He enjoyed playing golf and cards with cousins and friends, with the winner always treating everyone to Coney Island hotdogs. Ray was a busy man whose interaction with business associates, family and friends, was always his greatest pleasure and happiness.

Ray and Mary have been generous supporters of the Oakland Township and Rochester, Michigan community. Among many other gifts, they built a beautiful children’s day care center to allow for affordable child care for the medical staff at Crittenton Hospital. The historic Paint Creek Cider Mill was donated by Ray and Mary to Oakland Township to be used as their township offices. For years, Ray and Mary have donated thousands of poinsettia plants during the holidays to area Meals on Wheels recipients.

Ray was known for telling great stories and jokes, sharing important information about health, sharing great photos, and entertaining many with difficult card tricks, riddles, and games.

Always the successful businessman and gentleman, and to many, a legend in his own time, Ray’s greatest investment and joy was in spending time with the people he cared about most; foremost, his lovely wife, Mary, his family and close friends.

The impact of Ray Nicholson upon the many lives that he touched and enriched, will forever be remembered. He was adored and admired, and will be deeply missed by his loving family and friends, and by all those who knew him.

Obituary Courtesy of Modetz Funeral Homes

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  1. Yvon Fournier says

    Juste une pensée amicale pour ceux que j’ai aimé et que je n’ai pas revue depuis +- 40 ans
    Bill, Mike and Lynn
    John Kurta
    Dick Daratony
    William Bill Kirk, my superior
    in a best part of my life, I was to hawai in maui island in 1986 with every one
    RGIS gave me the best of me.
    et je suis fier d’avoir donner le meilleur de moi à RGIS

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