Raymond VanGorder Sr. ... heavily decorated Vietnam vet

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ROCHESTER - Raymond "Ray" Dennis VanGorder, Sr., 65, died peacefully Tuesday, May 10, 2016, at VA Medical Center, West Roxbury, Mass., after a courageous battle with lung cancer.
Born August 24, 1950, in Bath, N.Y., to the late Harry and Rose (Adamowicz) VanGorder, he lived in Bath for most of his life before enlisting in the Army in 1967 at the age of 17. He re-enlisted in 1968 and again in 1971. Ray served his country with distinction in the Vietnam War as a Sergeant, fighting bravely and receiving three Purple Hearts. He also received two Army Commendation Medals, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with two Bronze Stars and one Silver Service Star, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Ribbon w/Device and the Expert Badge with Rifle Bar.
In 1975 he met the love of his life, Susan (Morse) VanGorder and spent 40 wonderful years together with never a dull moment.
Before his retirement due to health issues, he owned CIR Construction for over 20 years where he was proud to have worked with his son RJ. Prior to that he worked for various companies in the Seacoast. He was a hard worker, but always put his family first.
Ray loved spending time with his family, especially Sue, Chrissy, RJ & Kevin and his grandchildren Anna, Hallie and Abel and beloved dogs Major, Hemi, and Daisy. He enjoyed fishing, boating - especially trying to flip people on the tube, and traveling, including many trips to visit his family in N.Y. The visits from family and friends over the past year were extra special.
He loved Christmas, covering his house with lights, Fourth of July fireworks, and his gardens. Even through his illness, he never lost his great sense of humor or his wise guy attitude. He had a rough exterior but won the hearts of all who knew him.
He was greeted at the pearly gates by his parents, sister Norma "Moe" Personius, brothers Edward VanGorder and Paul VanGorder, granddaughter Antonia Holden, and his dogs Hemi and Daisy.
He is loved dearly by his wife Susan, daughter Christina and Kevin Genaw, son Raymond "RJ" VanGorder, Jr., and Juliana Giambrone, daughter Julia "Crickett" and Jerome Holden; grandchildren Anna and Hallie Genaw, Abel VanGorder, Jasmine Farmer, Tye-shawn and Iziah Holden; five great grandchildren; siblings Harry "Butch" VanGorder, James VanGorder, Helen Ragusa, Joseph VanGorder, Susan Brannan, Margaret Mattison, Christopher VanGorder; Clifford VanGorder, Frederick VanGorder, and Wayne VanGorder.
A special thank you to his "sitters" Sheila Hatfield and Elaine Plante, for their compassionate care over the past few months, Scott Hamel for his loving dog care and to his fellow veterans for their special friendship and camaraderie.

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Raymond "Ray" Dennis VanGorder, Sr.
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