Raymond J. Magnani
May 11, 1949 - January 5, 2024
Raymond J. Magnani, devoted husband and amazing father, passed away on Friday, January 5, 2024, at his home in Newark, Delaware at the age of 74.
Born in New York, NY on May 11, 1949, Raymond “Ray” was a son of the late Eugene Magnani and Edythe Magnani of Landenberg, PA. He met his wife, Marilynn Magnani, in 1971, when they were both part of a group of teachers starting a new school called Newark Center for Creative Learning. They were married on March 1, 1985, when they decided they wanted to adopt a child and complete their family.
Ray had a mind that was always alive with curiosity and problem-solving, and combined a kind and compassionate nature with a wonderful love of life. He was a talented photographer, a long-time member and contributing artist of the Newark Arts Alliance, had photos featured in shows and magazines and he photo-illustrated a book with his sister, Denise, about the Winterthur Garden. For years Ray maintained a full darkroom in his basement before transitioning to digital photography. At the tender age of 68, he was awarded the Individual Artist Fellowship, a grant for an “emerging professional” artist for his “Oxidation” photo series.
As a young man, Ray loved to fly airplanes, and even built and owned one with a group of friends. Like the classic Italian, he was a lover of food – both cooking and eating it – and was especially known for his bread. His green thumb ensured a vegetable garden was always maintained and he enjoyed growing basil to make his own pesto, tending his bountiful fig trees, and starting lettuces in his basement and planting them in a backyard, home-made cold frame. Ray loved the outdoors – hiking, backpacking, canoeing, fishing, skiing, camping. He especially loved kayaking with family and friends. Ray was fascinated by science and astronomy, math, and history, and was an avid reader and patron of the library and thrift stores. He learned to play guitar as an adult and then taught what he had learned to students, whom he liked to say quickly surpassed him in talent. Ray collected hobbies, was good working with his hands, and was always the go-to person if there was some sort of problem. But first and foremost, he was a teacher. Ray helped lead and develop NCCL into the school that it is today and was a full-time teacher there for 44 years. Even after his retirement from teaching in 2015, he was still a constant guiding presence and mentor. Ray frequently went in to teach supplementary classes and to create fun and memorable demonstrations of scientific, mathematical, and historical concepts. Ray touched the lives of hundreds of families, students, and teachers, and was deeply moved by the many letters and e-mails he received in his final year.
In addition to his parents, Ray was preceded in death by his brother, Barry Magnani; and sadly, was followed closely in death by his sister, Denise Magnani. He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Marilynn Carver Magnani; daughter, Emily Magnani; brother, Eugene Magnani; brother-in-law, Jonathan Kissell; stepson, John Carver and daughter-in-law, Jody; three grandchildren; two nephews; and a niece.
A visitation for family and friends will be held from 1 pm until 2 pm on Saturday, January 27, 2024, at Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Home, 121 West Park Place, Newark, DE, where a memorial service will begin at 2 pm. Interment will be held privately.
In lieu of flowers, please consider supporting one of the causes that Ray championed so often in life, and make a donation to the Newark Center for Creative Learning, NCCL School c/o Annual Fund, 401 Phillips Avenue, Newark, DE 19711 or online by clicking here; or to the Newark Arts Alliance, 207 Louviers Drive, Newark, DE 19711 or online by clicking here; or to Water for Life Kenya, 314 East Main Street, Kelway Plaza, Suite 2, Newark, DE 19711 or online by clicking here.