Ray Harry A Life Dedicated to Volunteerism Ray Harry has held a lengthy membership in the history of the North Olympia Fire Department. Ray began his fascinating career in 1979 as a volunteer firefighter who also performed basic first aid. In 1988 he added the role of District Secretary to his volunteer title. He filled that role until he retired. In 1982 Ray became an Assistant Chief and then in 1999, was promoted to the District's Fire Chief. Due to health issues, Ray stopped responding to emergency calls in 2004 but continued to serve in administrative roles. For several years he managed the department as the Chief Executive Officer and then returned to the role as Fire Chief again in 2011. During his carrier as a volunteer, he also held other fire service positions for the county and state Fire Chiefs' Associations. During his tenure with the department, Ray established the first North Olympia Fire Department community group, which was called the Citizens Advisory Committee. His sense of community was strong and he wanted his constituents to be involved in the fire department. He also had a wonderful relationship with all the volunteer members as well as his Board of Fire Commissioners. His leadership philosophy was to work as a team to problem-solve and to make decisions as a united group. Ray's volunteerism didn't stop with the Fire Department. He also volunteered for twelve years for the State Department of Health on their Psychology Board. This licensing board position that was appointed by the Governor monitored the activities and set rules and regulations for psychologists. He also served on two county Fair boards. Ray held an exciting career outside of the Fire Service. He was a machinist by trade, who taught engineering technology and machining and mathematics at Clark College in Vancouver, Washington from 1964-1972. Then he worked for the Washington State community College board where his role was to approve and monitor the technical education programs for all colleges throughout the State. This job included lots of traveling. For several years, he also served as the Dean of Technical Education at the South Seattle Community College. As a local resident who has lived in the north Olympia area for over 40 years, he raised his family on a small farm with every animal imaginable. He was father to two sons, a daughter and a step son. His sons proudly followed in his footsteps and were also emergency responders with the North Olympia Department. In his spare time, Ray was a world-wide traveler. He and his wife Uta made frequent trips to Germany and all of Europe where they would often spend a month or more visiting relatives and exploring other cultures. When he wasn't traveling, he enjoyed collecting and restoring old gas engines, tractors, Model A and Model T cars. This hobby is shared with one of his sons. Over the many years of exemplary service that Ray provided, he's seen many different changes and directions taken in the fire service. When asked how he would like to be remembered, he responds that "He is a citizen of the community who thoroughly enjoys serving his neighbors." His legacy is that he has led a life dedicated to volunteerism. Chief, Fire fighter, and District Secretary Harry will be missed by many. You can read more about Ray and the history of the North Olympia Fire Department in the lobby of Station 8-3.