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Ray Marvin - High Flights Chief Instructor

I have the sad duty to report the passing of High Flights stalwart Chief Instructor Ray Marvin.

He was in good health and flying regularly up to a week before his death due to complications from pneumonia following a severe fall at his home.

On the other hand, it is my privilege to relate some of his contributions to soaring, and to our High Flights Soaring Club of Colorado Springs in particular. Ray joined High Flights in early 1985 and soon could be found working together with Lew Neyland to obtain his CFIG.

Both obtained the rating in June of that year. Since then, many club CFIGs have come and gone, but these two dedicated pilots have always been a part of our operation as volunteer instructors. Indeed, Ray left us with several new students currently working on licenses to soar. A note from a past club newsletter reveals that Ray could even be found consuming his lunch in the back of a two-seater during a checkride; such was his devotion to his students.

In the late ’80s, Ray served our club as Vice President and then as President. He presidedably over times difficult for every glider pilot as we sought to help reduce the potential burden of proposed airspace regulations that easily could have crippled our sport. His continuing efforts on behalf of our club made clear his love of the sport, and contributed mightily to the superb, fun and safe organization that it is today. His calm and occasionally stern emphasis on safety is a voice many of us will hear for the rest of our lives as Ray lives on in our souls and makes us better flyers.

Ray was the holder of altitude and goal diamonds on his gold badge. His enjoyment of flying and soaring was infectious. 24H was regularly airborne, and it was a joy to behold Ray aloft and thriving on even the most delicate vortex of rising air.

Ray was my instructor, my mentor and my friend. I know he held one or more of those roles for everyone who knew him. We all will evaluate this enormous loss in the privacy of our own thoughts. A quiet giant of a man, Raymond G. Marvin, 25 November 1923 – 20 July
2001, will be missed.

-Jim Densmore

Posted: 2/1/2002


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