Amateur astronomer, Amateur radio enthusiast, Maker, electronics technician with experience in a broad range of technologies. Very “handy”, being able to take on most work when it comes to carpentry, plumbing, auto mechanics, electrical work and more. A little knowledge in each of so many areas, no real in-depth knowledge on any one topic. Able to follow and learn from almost any conversation but rarely the leader in those discussions.
Ray was born April 19, 1963 in Seattle Washington, the third child of Delbert and Doris Goble(Daley). He went to several schools in the South Seattle/Burien Area, before graduating in 1981 from Foster High School in Tukwila Washington.
During his senior year, he enlisted in the US Marine Corps on a delayed entry contract for an electronics maintenance MOS.
After high school, he left for boot camp, graduating in early 1982 and arriving at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center 29 Palms, to begin training to become a 5944 RADAR repairman. Upon graduating from the school in 1983, he stayed with the Marine Corps Communication and Electronics School (MCCES) at 29 Palms, working in the maintenance shop to maintain the TPS-63 RADAR at the school as well as the similar RADAR on “Bear Mat” summit, used in support of live fire aircraft operations on the base.
Ray remained with MCCES until early 1986, when he departed for Okinawa, where he joined the RADAR shop in Marine Air Control Squadron 4 (MACS4) on Marine Corps Air Station Futenma. Although he was with MACS4 for a year, he spent 7 months on deployment in the Republic of the Philippines. While stationed overseas, he became interested in radio control cars and planes, and his interest in computers which had started in high school, grew dramatically.
He returned to CONUS in 1987, joining the Marine Corps Tactical System Support Activity (MCTSSA) on the beach of Camp Pendleton, Ca.
MCTSSA was a detachment of the Marine Corps Research Development and Acquisition Command, (MCRDAC) in Washington DC. MCTSSA performed various functions including development and testing of new equipment, modifications to existing equipment, and development of documentation and procedures. While at MCTSSA, Ray was one of the two primary Marine technical leads for the technical manual rewrite project for the TPS-63 RADAR, working with numerous representatives from the manufacturer, Westinghouse. While at MCTSSA, His interest in RC airplanes continued, logging hundreds of hours of flight time with RC gliders, putting to good use the updrafts created by the beach cliffs near his barracks. He also began to delve into experimenting with various electronics projects and ideas while stationed there. Today, these activities would have him labeled as a “maker”. This interest and hobby continues to this day, with one recent example being the design and construction of a fully functional Sonar vehicle backup proximity sensor with dashboard digital distance display.
In 1989, Ray returned to MCCES for the advanced Technician course for the TPS-63 RADAR. Graduating in 1990 and now designated as a 5948 RADAR technician, he returned to Camp Pendleton, this time joining MACS1, A unit that although deployable, was testing the Marine Tactical Data System (MTDS), to replace the old Tactical Air Operations Center. (TAOC)
At one point during his time with MACS1, Ray broke his right hand in a freak accident while closing a window. Two days later, Iraq invaded Kuwait. The cast on his right arm prevented him from being deployed and he remained with others at Camp Pendleton, who were all doing their best to support the unit while they were deployed for operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. It was during Desert Shield that his father passed away from lung cancer, and he spent a couple of weeks home in the northwest as a result. In early 1992, Ray began dating the woman who would become his first wife. They would have two children together, Angelique in 1993 and Phillip in 1994.
Following his honorable discharge from the Marine Corps in 1992 and a very brief period as a military dependent, (his wife was in the Navy) Ray was hired by Anacomp to work as a field service technician, maintaining equipment that printed, processed, duplicated and sorted microfiche. After eight months, the couple realized that their income was insufficient to support them in Southern California and they moved to her hometown of Peebles, Ohio. Unfortunately, there was no work to be had in that area and they once again moved, this time to Rays hometown of Seattle. As luck would have it, at that moment, the Seattle office of Anacomp was looking for an additional field service technician. They called Rays former supervisors in Los Angeles that day and upon hearing what they had to say about him, told him immediately that they would hire him as soon as the corporate office would allow it. They did hire him just as they’d said, shortly before Christmas 1993.
Just after the birth of their son Phillip in 1994, the continuing deterioration of the microfiche market forced Anacomp into a round of layoffs. As the latest person hired in the Seattle office, Ray was the first to be released. When he called his former boss with Anacomp of Los Angeles to verify him as a reference, he found that his former supervisor was now working for a company in direct competition with Anacomp (SKSI) and was looking for a technician to work in the San Francisco Bay area. Ray was hired by that company immediately and the couple then moved to San Lorenzo, Ca., just south of Oakland. He was the sole employee of the company north of Los Angeles, and was responsible for accounts in the Bay area as well as Oregon.
While working for SKSI, Ray realized that with the rapid expansion of computer networking, the writing was on the wall. Microfiche wouldn’t last much longer. He decided to make the jump to a new career and entered a school to learn network server management. This was a rough time for Ray. While he was struggling with the prospect of changing careers, his wife left, taking both of their children with her to Ohio. He managed to complete the school in spite of the difficulty in his personal life. He was now alone having lost his family and facing a tough decision.
He made the decision to leave his job and move back home to Western Washington with no known job prospects. Once again fate smiled on him, as he immediately found that in Seattle another small micrographics company was at that moment looking for an in-house technician with knowledge and experience with microfiche equipment, a range of other electronics and mechanical technologies and even networking, since their microfiche machines were networked together. So obviously, they hired him as soon as they saw his qualifications. This job turned out to be the perfect crossover for him, since it involved the technology he was already experienced with and included supporting computers, a server and the network, which was all part of the career he was hoping to jump into.
Ray worked with that company until early 1997, when the owner announced that he was selling the company accounts to a competitor and closing the office. Ray was hired by a contracting company, to work as a contract tech support specialist. He was then brought onboard by the Tech Support team of the Puget Sound Veterans hospital, to work at the Seattle campus performing end-user software support. In spite of having no experience with Windows NT4, Ray picked it up rapidly and quickly became the “alpha geek”, the person to whom the other technicians turned when they couldn’t figure out something.
Rays network server certification happened to be for the same systems that were in use by the BackOffice at VA Puget Sound and when a position opened for a server manager at the end of 1997, Ray applied for that position and was selected for it. Under normal circumstances, it wouldn’t have been possible for a contractor employed at the hospital to take a permanent position with the hospital, but it turned out that his employer had forgotten to ask Ray to sign the no-compete agreement. With no legal limitation standing in the way, he began his new job as server manager for VA Puget Sound in January 1998.
As the server manager at VA Puget Sound, Ray “hit his stride”, rapidly building his skills and confidence. Before long, he had taken a leadership role within the data center, for the most part becoming the overall manager for the data centers at both the Seattle and American lake hospital campuses, involved in many aspects of planning, design and deployment. He initiated, planned and led the effort to phase out the old Netware servers at both campuses, replacing them with Windows servers. The deployments and projects for which Ray was an instrumental resource were too numerous to count.
Outside of work, Ray met Kris in 2004 and they married at the end of 2007, eventually moving to a home on over 9 acres, south of Spanaway, Washington.
Ray was with VA Puget Sound for over 16 ½ years. When the VA reorganized IT into the new “Region” structure in 2014, he moved to Region 1 (R01) which supported the western portion of the United States as well as Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and the VA facility in Manilla. His primary function was Microsoft SQL Database Server support for all of R01, with a secondary role of managing virus defense for all systems in Arizona, New Mexico and West Texas, and later became instrumental in the nation-wide deployment of printer management servers in an effort to control and standardize the configuration of thousands of printers across the VA.
The transition to R01 wasn’t without difficulty, however. Coincidental with the move, Rays wife was diagnosed with advanced stage 4 breast cancer. Only two months later, she passed away. The transition to the new work environment combined with such a loss in his personal life made it extremely difficult for him to make the transition. In spite of this, he still managed to become an important contributing member of the R01 IT organization.
In 2015, Ray met Renée, and they’ve set out on their new life together, now living West of Olympia, Washington. She’s been teaching him so much in topics that are new to him including horsemanship, which has been something he’s been interested in for a while but until now had no available mentors.
2017 is another year of change. In February, Ray took the test for a Technician class amateur radio (“Ham”) license and passed it with ease. He advanced to General class in March and to the highest level “Extra” class in April, passing that test on his birthday. He is preparing the Spanaway house for sale.
Another VA IT transition happened in July, with Ray moving away from virus defense, to a primary role as a database manager on a new nation-wide team, as well as a secondary role on the national printer management team. On the new database management team, Ray was given responsibility for all Database servers in North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.
Also in the summer of 2017, Ray took the role of WebMaster for the Olympia Amateur Radio Society (OARS), the local Amateur radio club in Olympia, and is now working on expanding the club Web presence and outreach.
Who knows where life will take Ray and Renée, but Ray is thankful they have each other. Renée is a deeply caring individual who loves her family and animals, and has a tremendous work ethic. A higher power certainly brought them together.
…and -sigh- yet another VA IT reorg has begun. We haven’t finished the previous reorg yet.