OF A MUSEUM VOLUNTEER
Ray was born March 6, 1924 in San
Francisco to Alvin and Mary Wong Lee. He had a brother Warren, and two
sisters; Betty and Roberta. The family moved to Coalinga, California where
Ray’s father opened a Chinese Restaurant in 1930. Ray graduated from Coalinga
High School with the Class of 1942.
Ray volunteered for the Army in February, l943 and received his MOS - 861, Surgical Technician Certification at William Beaumont General Hospital; El Paso, in November. He took advanced training at Camp Swift, Texas, and amphibious training at Camp San Luis Obispo, California. Jungle training at Camp Polk, Louisiana finalized his training.
Ray served as a medic with the 97th Infantry Division, 322nd Medical Battalion, Company C. He deployed to Europe for 5 months and Japan for 8 months. Ray was honorably discharged in March, 1946 with a Good Conduct, American Campaign, Europe, Asiatic Pacific and Victory Occupation Medals.
Ray moved to Fresno, where the Louie family had a neighborhood grocery store down the street, and it was at the grocery where he met his wife to be, Marjorie, in 1948. They were married in 1950 and have two boys; Jerry and Mike, and two girls; Lori Ann and Dona. Ray and Marjorie have been married 63 years.
Ray utilized the GI Bill and went to watch repair school in Sacramento. He opened a small repair shop; however it wasn’t enough to feed the family, so in 1967 an opening became available for a position in the traffic department for the City of Fresno. Ray retired in 1992 after 25 years with the city.
In January, l992 Ray saw a program about the Legion of Valor Museum on TV, and went down to take a look. He met Chuck Monges and his wife Anita, working laboriously to put the museum together in one small corner of the Fresno Memorial Building. Ray offered to bring in his memorabilia, and a year later he VOLUNTEERED to help before Chuck could DRAFT him.
Ray soon became the Curator for the museum; a job he takes very seriously, and devotes countless hours to making the now Veterans Memorial Museum, “Home of the Legion of Valor” among one the finest military museums in the United States.
Ray takes all items donated to the museum, decides which ones are worthy of displaying, and arranges how and where they are to be displayed. He has redone many displays to make room for others, or rearranged wall hangings for the improvement of the museum.
First time visitors to the museum all say, ‘WOW’ as their mouths drop open at the wonder of what they see. Our “Atta Boy” file is full of compliments and praises from those who have visited the museum from all across the country.
The museum staff and visitors alike, all owe a debt of gratitude for the many hours Raymond Lee has given to the ongoing enhancement of the Veterans Memorial Museum.