Raymond ‘Rayzor’ Brown
1942 – 2009

PORTLAND – Raymond “Rayzor” Arthur Brown, 66, died June 26 at Maine Medical Center from head injuries sustained while exercising a racehorse  —  living life to the fullest.

He was born in Berlin, N.H., on Aug. 21, 1942, to Vernon and Marguerite (Deegan) Brown. Ray graduated from Norway High School in 1961 and from Bliss College in 1963. His first job after college was shipping at Francine Shoe.

He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1971. He earned many awards from his service in Vietnam including honor graduate of the 101st Screaming Eagles, Class 394 and a Purple Heart for injuries sustained while serving his country. He was discharged on July 1, 1973. Once home, he joined the American Legion Stone Smart Post 82, where both he and his father served as commander and from which he received several certificates of appreciation. He was also a member of the Veterans of Foreign Affairs.

Ray married Mary Ann Perham, mother of two daughters, on Aug. 26, 1972. He always considered the girls as his own.

After the service, he worked at Paris Farmer’s Union for one year, then Diamond International until it closed 13 years later. He continued to work in the housing/building industry, except for one year working for Bancroft Contracting at their Berlin site, until 1999, when he was determined 100 percent disabled by the VA.

His renowned work ethic began with mowing neighborhood lawns at age nine. He played for the Little Mites Little League team. He later earned the nickname “bender” in baseball, played basketball, was part of the Norway-Paris Drum & Bugle Corps and won jitterbug dance contests with Nancy Moore Mann.

One of his many loves was stock car racing at Oxford Plains Speedway, where he was on Bob Tibbett’s crew. With the help of Willie Buffington, he was able to race in demolition derbies and Enduro races, winning an Enduro one year.

The return of harness racing to the Oxford Fair renewed his passion for horses and racing. He helped get the track in condition before each race and he “just knew” that the horses got good race time results because of the way he dragged the track. He was licensed with the Maine State Harness Racing Association and this year he began helping Buddy Burke with exercising his horses. This brought him so much happiness and he loved it each time he went to the track or to one of the races with Buddy or his son, Joe.

He enjoyed golf, smelting, ice fishing, hunting, telling stories, working in the yard and flower gardens or just riding around the back roads of Western Maine. However his greatest love was attending the many sporting events and school programs that his grandchildren were in. He tried to make every event. His grandchildren were his pride and joy.

He was a member of Stone Smart Post 82 of Norway, the Norway Fish and Game Club, Norway-Paris Kiwanis and was a director of the Paris Hill Country Club. He was a member of the area’s first technical school board and at one time was the West Paris representative on the Board of Directors of SAD 17.

He had a passion for American Legion baseball and was the area commissioner after Fred McLaughlin, until he was no longer able to because of health problems. Needless to say he was an avid fan of the Red Sox, Patriots and Celtics.

Town and Country New Year’s Eve parties were organized by him for family and friends for many years, along with “watching the fireworks parties” at the races, lobster feeds at the farm and any other excuse to get together. He was the social planner and life of the party.

His sense of humor was notorious over the years, from entertaining nurses at the VA hospital in Togus to keeping a JOKES folder in his file cabinet. He wanted everyone to feel good and laugh hard. In spite of all his medical problems stemming from service injuries, he remained devoutly patriotic, unjaded and positive his entire life. His enthusiasm was contagious. He was one in a million!

He is survived by his wife; daughter, Debi Irons and her sons, Alex Waite, and Phoenix McLaughlin; daughter and son-in-law, Nancy and Jay Morrissette and their three daughters, Courtney and Morgan McClean, Chocorua Morrisette and son, Wade Morrissette and his wife, Michelle and their son, Max; a sister, Peggy Heikkinen and her partner, Alan Hazelton; nephew, Mike Heikkinen and his daughter, Baylee; a beloved aunt, Genice Edwards; “sons,” Mike MacGregor, Glenn Henderson, Dennis Fournier and Rick McAlister; “grandsons,” Raymond MacGregor and Chris Jennings; a very special family friend, Winnie Clark; several brothers and sisters-in law; many nieces, nephews and cousins; along with more friends then one can count.

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