Obituary: Jay John Ray

Jay John Ray

AUGUSTA – Jay John Ray, 69, devoted father and grandfather, passed away unexpectedly on Friday, April 5, 2024.

Jay was born June 30, 1954 in Waterville to Eugene Papolas and Irene Ray. He spent most of his childhood in Waterville before moving to Augusta. He attended Cony High School, where he met the love of his life, Debra “Debbie” Reny.

Although he enjoyed playing various sports as a child, it wasn’t until his teenage years that he realized his passion for weightlifting. This passion led to Jay’s Gym, located on Water Street in Augusta. It was open for ten years and closed in the early 1990s.

Jay was very dedicated to his work in property management. With a strong work ethic, his pursuit of excellence earned him the respect and admiration of both his colleagues and clients. He was known for his reliability, his willingness to go to any lengths to get the job done, and his genuine concern for the well-being of the people he served.

In the late 1980s, he was actively involved in local politics, serving in Ward 4 of the Augusta City Council. He possessed a fervent commitment to improving the lives of his fellow citizens.

Jay had a special place in his heart for the most important role of all: Father and Pépère. For him, there was no greater joy than spending time with his grandchildren.

Jay is survived by his four children, Nikolas and wife Kimberly Ray, Elese and husband Dan Poirier, Ellen and husband Cory Barnett, Emily and husband Eben Gilman; and his eight grandchildren, Lucy, Kaia, Cy, Grayson, Kora, Grace, Alanna and Adelynn.

Jay was predeceased by his wife, Debbie; his father, Eugene, his mother, Irene; and his beloved Rottweiler, BoBo.

At Jay’s request, there will be no funeral or memorial service.

Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at

In lieu of flowers, those who wish may make donations in his honor to:

Howell House

Sewallstraat 44

Augusta, ME 04330

The Howell House is a senior home where Jay has lived for the past year and enjoyed the peace and quiet

sense of community and banter over lunch.