Raymond "Ray" J. Marizza Jr.

Nov. 27, 1962 - Sep. 18, 2023

Raymond "Ray" J. Marizza Jr. RUPERT – Loving father, grandfather, brother, and son, Raymond “Ray” John Marizza Jr., age 60, of Kimberly and formerly of Rupert, peacefully passed away the morning of Monday, September 18, 2023.

On November 27, 1962, the world was blessed with Ray, to Raymond and Constance (Connie) Marizza, at the Morris Hospital in Morris, Illinois.

Ray was known for his larger-than-life presence that simply pulled you in, like a force of gravity. Anyone who had the great pleasure of meeting him, remembered him. Ray spent his younger years working in the oil rigs, telling many adventures of being surrounded by a pack of wolves or getting picked up by helicopter off the face of a mountain, almost frozen to it. If there wasn’t an adventure, Ray created one. If you took a trip to the grocery store with Ray Marizza, you were in for a treat. Ray’s voice and laughter filled any room he was in.

When he met and married Joni Pitcher, it was time to take a leap of faith. Living on a prayer, Ray and Joni hopped in his blue Ford truck and made their way to Utah. Ray went to school and became a computer engineer for a technology service company called Diebold. A few years later, Ray became a father to his first born, Jenna, at the age of 27. It did not take Ray long to fall so in love with fatherhood that he quickly brought three more girls into the world: Amarae, Ashley, and Danielle. You couldn’t ask for a more incredible father; he was and will forever be their hero. His girls were the light in his eye and his universe revolved around them.

At the young age of 40, Ray had a massive debilitating stroke, leaving his physical body impaired. How he fought though, and showed the world what strength really is. Ray didn’t let this stop him. Doctors who told him he would never walk again, were shortly proven wrong when Ray took his first steps just four months after his stroke. He lived twenty more years in this
condition, showing up for his loved ones with a never-ending list of wild stories, laughter, and inappropriate jokes. This brought his family comfort in a time when comfort was scarce. Ray truly was a man who loved his family and did everything in his power to protect them. Ray was a man that defied all odds. A legacy he leaves behind.

A quick story that encompasses Ray’s character: He once had an elderly neighbor who was diagnosed with cancer. One evening, during her battle, Joni was looking for Ray in the house and could not find him. She walked outside, and to no surprise of hers, Ray pulled his car in front of this elderly woman’s home, opened the doors, and had her on the front lawn, dancing and serenading her in song. Again, this is simply the man he was, spreading love and laughter to anyone and everyone. Especially those who needed it. Many of Ray’s family and friends would have a story just like this one to tell.

While Ray’s physical being is no longer here, his unbounded spirit lives on through us all. The world was blessed by his presence, and he will be missed dearly. As difficult as it can be for loved ones on Earth, we are all so happy he is free to, “run in the sun”, like you should.

Ray was preceded in death by his father, Raymond Marizza Sr.; and his sister, Barbara Davis. Ray is survived by his mother, Connie Marizza; his sisters, Peggy (TL) Marizza and Pam Marizza; his brother, Steven Marizza; and his four daughters, Jenna Marizza, Amarae (Cameron) Williams, Ashley (Ryler) Henderson, Danielle Marizza; and his nine grandchildren; as well as many extended family members.

There will be no formal service. The family will hold a private celebration of life at a later date.