Raymond Dawley

Obituary of Raymond Dawley

Raymond (Ray) Lee Dawley, 102, died at Sunrise of Palo Alto on January 3rd 2018. He was born in Los Angeles to George Lee and Dorothy (Colwell) Dawley on May 14th 1915. He was married to Mary (Bartlett) Dawley of Santa Barbara for 63 years, who predeceased him in 2003. He was also predeceased by his brother George Dawley of Pasadena and his sister Eloise Lannan of Santa Barbara. He is survived by his son Norman (Rosemary) of Lusby MD, his daughter, Karen Hamilton of Palo Alto CA, and his son Frank (Vicky) Dawley of Red Bluff CA; seven grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren.

He was active in amateur radio most of his life earning his ham license (W6DHG) at age 16. Ray’s aptitude in science led him to a scholarship to the California Institute of Technology, where he studied organic chemistry. The Depression cut his studies short. Through his knowledge of radio and wide network of amateur radio friends he found a good job at Radio Supply Company in Los Angeles allowing him to help his family. He also wrote for Radio Magazine during this time. In the late 1930s, he moved to Santa Barbara working for Editors and Engineers on the Radio Amateur Handbook. He was also the station operator and evening disc jockey for KTMS. During World War II, Ray was a civilian employee of the US Navy’s Bureau of Ships, where he directed the development of Identification Friend or Foe radar.

Immediately following the war, he worked for Hughes Aircraft in El Segundo to assist Hughes into the nascent guided missile business. Soon he and his young family returned to Santa Barbara working again for Editors and Engineers editing electronics books and magazines. In 1951 Ray was a founder of Penta Laboratories in Santa Barbara that designed and manufactured high power vacuum tubes. Penta was eventually sold to Raytheon. In 1953 Ray was instrumental in turning around D&R Ltd, in Santa Barbara. As president he led D&R to success in the design and production of high speed motors and turbo generators for missiles. In the mid 1960’s, Ray worked at Raytheon Corporation in Lexington MA, as Director of Product Planning.

After Raytheon, Ray followed his interest in mining in the Panamint Valley of California and in Alaska, and cattle ranching in northern California, eventually settling on an orchard in Gridley CA, growing walnuts, kiwis and prunes.

An avid sailor, Ray raced to Acapulco, Mazatlán and Honolulu usually as the navigator. He belonged to the St Francis and Trans Pacific Yacht Clubs. He also was a US Power Squadron member where he taught celestial navigation. A longtime member of the Santa Barbara Yacht Club he, with his family as crew, won numerous season trophies in their boats, Mystery, and later, Selene.

Ray was particularly fortunate to have his nephews, Dr Bill Lannan and Shane Anderson and their families, close by during his 7 year residence at Vista Del Monte in Santa Barbara.