It is with a broken heart we share our loss of Raymond Charles Force, of Perkasie, on Friday, Jan. 14, 2022. He was 69.
He was the loving husband of Cathy (Soergel) Force, and proud, loving father of Erin Mullen, (fiancée Dave O’Brien), Tara Amick (Tim), Carrie Marriott (John), Paul Force and Brittany Vasey (Mike).
He was the adoring grandfather of Noah and Luke Mullen; Rian and Corinne Amick, Adelaide, Gweneth, Wesley, Sadie Marriott and Virginia Buchanan; Tristan Denson, Hunter, Averi and Colton Force; Drew, Willow and Maxwell Vasey.
Ray was the oldest son of Emmi Force, of Long Island, N.Y., and the late Terrence Force. He is also survived by his siblings, Colleen Force of Virginia, Gary and Glenn Force of Long Island.
Growing up on Long Island, graduating from Walt Whitman High School in 1970, Ray married his high school sweetheart, Cathy, in 1972. They shared 50 years of love, laughter, adventure and their faith. Ray was loved by everyone, his gentle spirit felt by every soul he touched.
Ray was an ordained American Baptist minister and faithfully served the First Baptist Church of Lambertville, N.J., from 1983 through his retirement. He loved sharing his faith through preaching, teaching and Bible studies. He was often asked after a sermon, “How did you know what I needed to hear this morning?” and “Was that message meant just for me?” He was a gifted speaker and preached from his heart. Ray loved to include others in his services, and often accompanied singing with drumming at a service.
Ray graduated from Houghton College in 1977. He attended Eastern Baptist Seminary, now known as Palmer Seminary, Philadelphia. He graduated with a Master of Arts in religion, and Master of Divinity degrees. He was ordained in 1984 and served the First Baptist Church of Lansdale as a pastoral intern and youth minister during the years he was in seminary.
Ray was a talented drummer and loved playing with his fellow musicians, Jazzmen. Events he performed in included Lambertville Shad Festivals, Pearl Buck House events, high school musicals, and even the front porch on Bridge Street. Ray taught many drum students over the years. Nothing brought him greater joy than holding a young grandchild on his lap at his drums and taking their little hands in his, and drumming with them.
Ray was a licensed amateur ham radio operator, N2RVV, and spoke with others around the world, marking all contacts he made with a pin, on a world map hanging on the wall. He was a volunteer with the Lambertville OEM, facilitating communications in the days before cell phones.
Ray was a paraprofessional at Hunterdon Central Regional High School, for 13 years, until his retirement, working with students with special needs. During that time Ray and Cathy had the opportunity to chaperone the marching band and orchestra for a tour of Europe. Ray found the city of Prague breathtaking, and memorable.
Ray loved his family more than anything in the world. Although we all shared organized trips, vacations, and holidays regularly, the highlight of Ray’s life was just being with his family, spending time together.
Relatives and friends are invited to greet the family on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022, at 10:30 a.m. until his funeral service at noon, at First Baptist Church of Lambertville, 50 Rocktown Road, Lambertville, N.J. Interment to take place at Doylestown Cemetery.
Contributions in Ray’s name can be made to: Animal Alliance, PO Box 546, Lambertville, NJ 08530.