Yesterday Raymond Danielsen passed away at age 77. He was the son of Christian Danielsen, and grandson of our immigrant ancestor Kristian Danielsen. He was the oldest living member of that branch of the Danielsen family.
I first contacted Ray and Grace by mail many years ago - probably 20 to 25 years ago. We wrote back and forth a time or two about the family genealogy, then lost track of each other until he contacted me by email around 2008. We stayed in sporadic contact ever since and shared what we could about the Danielsen history. We never met in person.
Ray was spared some of the family drama as a child as he was confined with rheumatic fever for some time. When he was well enough, he spent summers safely at his maternal aunt's home until age 17 or 18. He married at age 21 and he and his wife were taken in by her family, which was a large and loving one.
You can get a feeling for a person after years of corresponding. My impression of Ray was a large but gentle man, successful, talented, to whom family was all-important. He greatly enjoyed exploring and learning more of his Norwegian roots. And after 50 years of marriage, I know he missed his wife, Grace, who passed away in 2008. They are now reunited. Rest in peace, Ray.