Thursday, Sep 27, 2012
The staff at Isle Royale National Park lost a valued friend and fellow employee, Raymond Spooner, who worked on the park’s ship, Ranger III, for the past 5-and-a-half years.
Ray was born in Detroit, Michigan, and was 46 years of age at the time of his death in September. His love of open water and boating led him to his first marine job with the Bob-lo tour boats in Detroit. Ray then pursued training to work in the maritime industry and sailed with the American Steamship Company on the Great Lakes as an able-bodied seaman, boatswain, and wheelsman.
Ray sailed all of the Great Lakes before coming to work on Ranger III, a 165-foot vessel that voyages between Houghton, Michigan, and Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior, providing passenger service and cargo support. Ray loved being on the water, whether it was at work on the Ranger III or kayaking in the park by himself or with friends. The Keweenaw was a great place for him to live as he loved camping, hiking, cross-country skiing, and gardening.
Park staff will miss his ready smile and easy conversation. Ray is survived by his fiancé, a sister, and a brother.