Raymond James “Ray” Negstad
Raymond James “Ray” Negstad, age 84, of Newark, DE, passed away on Tuesday, December 20, 2022, at home with his family by his side.
Born in Portland, Oregon, he was the son of the late James H. Negstad and Doris (Altgilbers) Negstad Kampy, and the step-son of John Kampy. Ray graduated from Benson Polytechnical High School in Portland in 1955. On his 18th birthday he joined the U.S Air Force, where he further developed his aviation skills that began his passion for airplanes. Following his discharge, he continued working in aviation for the next 50 years. He spent many years working as an avionics specialist with various aircraft maintenance companies in Portland, Columbus, Ohio and Charleston, West Virginia.
The McJunkin Company in Charleston, who owned an Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) business jet recommended Ray to IAI as their new Avionics Engineer. IAI was the largest employer in Israel with offices in Tel Aviv and New York City. A whole new world opened for Ray in 1978 when he became an employee. He was their first Avionics person and they had airplanes all over the world. Ray traveled all five continents but miraculously could eventually repair many airplanes over the phone, he diagnosed the problem and could guide the folks with the plane on how to get them flying again. Ray loved his job!
In the spring of 1977, Ray and his daughter Darcy attended their first Parents Without Partners (PWP) picnic. They met Ann and her daughter Lisa, while playing softball. A monumental day, as Ray and Ann eventually fell in love and married in June 1978. Within two weeks, they were moving to Delaware for Ray’s new job. Eventually, seven of their eight teenaged children also became part of the Delaware crew.
Ray and his wife were Junior High Youth Group leaders for 10 years, followed by 18 years working with High Schoolers in the Presbyterian Church. Besides meeting weekly, they also planned and participated in 18 Mission Work Camps.
Ray also served on the Board of Directors of his Civic Association as president and treasurer. He was also a great supporter of Friendship House in Wilmington, DE.
In addition to his parents, Ray was preceded in death by his step-sons, Larry Michael Smith, Stephen Mark Smith and Phillip David Smith Sr. Hs is survived by his wife, Ann Morgan Smith Negstad; daughters, Cheryl Lynn Summers, Darcy Lea Negstad, Melanie Jo Negstad, Alicia Marie Negstad, and Tanika Lea Hart; step-children, James Maxwell Smith (Chet) and Lisa Beth Smith Lloyd (Tim);14 grandchildren; and many great-grandchildren.
A memorial service for family and friends will be held at 10 am on Saturday, February 25, 2023, at Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Home, 121 West Park Place, Newark, DE. A memorial service for Ray and his step-son, Larry Michael Smith (who died on November 28, 2022) will be held at 10 am on March 11, 2023, in the chapel at Tyler Mountain Memory Gardens, 5233 Rocky Fork Road, Cross Lanes, WV 25313, where they both will be interred.
10 Condolences for Raymond James “Ray” Negstad
My sincere condolences for Ray’s passing. Virtual hugs being sent your way.
I’m sorry for your loss Ann
I know I don’t have the right words, so I’ll show my love by coming and giving you the hug personally. Praying for peace in your life.
Jane & Chris Witham
The world has lost a gentleman. We have such fond memories of Ray and all that you both did for our 3 sons during their time at the 1st Presbyterian Church and the youth group camps. Please accept our sincerest condolences.
Best wishes, Jane & Chris
Ron & Cathy White
Ann & family,
So sad to hear of Ray’s passing. His obituary shows he enjoyed a very rich life, traveling with his jobs in a field he loved, and was blessed to have you by his side. You all are in our prayers.
Ron & Cathy
Kent and Betty Riegel
Sending sincere condolences to you Ann and family. What a wonderful life Ray lived! We are so surprised and amazed at his ability to repair aircraft by telephone! We hope the happy memories of you sweet life together will bouy you for many years to come. Hugs to you all. Betty and Kent Riegel
Our sincere condolences . The Siebold Family
Danny and Carolyn Kirk
Please accept our heartfelt sympathy.
I love you dad. You were my angel on earth and now my guardian angel in heaven.. I miss you so much. Love you always.
Dear Ann, I hope you know how much I loved and respected Ray, a kind, caring, gentle man whose passion for service and organizing abilities complimented you in your joint mission with youth. Helen and I regret that we will be unable to attend the service. We pray for solace and continued strength for you and your family.