Cover photo for Raymond Ray Fyhr's Obituary
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1953 Raymond 2016

Raymond Ray Fyhr

September 11, 1953 — June 23, 2016

Raymond Arthur Fyhr, age 62, a longtime resident of Cranford, NJ, died peacefully in his home after suffering a stroke in August, 2015, followed by a long period of complications and illness, on the morning of Thursday, June 23, 2016.

Ray was born at the Nassau Hospital, renamed Winthrop–University Hospital, in Mineola, NY, on September 11, 1953 to Ellef Hansen and Ana (Riollano) Fyhr. He and his older sister grew up and attended schools in East Meadow, NY. He married Laura Barbara Garretson of E. Norwich, NY on August 25, 1979, and raised a family of two boys and two girls after moving with Laura to Cranford, NJ.

Ray's first love was music. He started violin lessons at the age of 10 and picked up the guitar a year or two later and soon bought his first real guitar, a Gibson ES335 with his own money when he was 16. His first electric violin was a Barcus Berry pickup added to a friend's old violin. He heard most of the great bands play live in the 60s. When he was 17, his band "Plum Loco" won the Nassau County Battle of the Bands, sponsored by LILCO and Sam Ash. He wrote several original songs for the contest and played guitar, violin, and harmonica. The band got to record the original tunes in an 8-track professional studio. Here began his long love affair with recording studios and equipment.

Raymond received a BA from Colgate University where he majored in violin music performance. As an undergraduate, he studied violin with the late Felix Eyle, former concertmaster of the NY Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. After graduating, he studied with Tossy Spivakovsky, concert soloist, former concertmaster of the Berlin and Cleveland Orchestras, and member of the faculty at Juilliard. Ray gave up the violin a number of times but always picked it up again. He presented recitals in libraries, churches, and schools while playing in various local orchestras and chamber groups. He especially enjoyed playing in piano trios.

After receiving an MS with distinction in computer science from New York Institute of Technology, Ray worked as a software consultant to Bell Labs, AT&T, several international banks, ADSS, the Port Authority of NY/NJ, Hewlett Packard, NCR, Bell Core, Telcordia, Polaris Software Lab, Merck Research Labs and R. R. Bowker. He was highly regarded as a cutting edge software developer with a proven record of delivering innovative solutions, easily adapting to new corporate cultures, development methodologies, evolving technology and subject matter expertise. Raymond easily provided solutions to complex information technology problems and created many real time performance improvements of from 10 to 100 fold. His key professional achievements included his RCMS paper – "An algorithm for identifying multiply modified endogenous proteins...." with Matthew T. Mazur, co-author. He presented the Keynote address at the Third International Conference on Proteomics & Bioinformatics, Philadelphia, PA, and the Keynote address at Bio-IT World 2012, Boston, MA "Bioinformatics & the Cloud."

After a break from guitar of over 10 years, Ray returned to his love of rock music. He bought a new Strat, the same model used by his guitar hero, Jimi Hendrix. More gear followed. He acquired over a dozen guitars and a great deal of recording, synth, and amplification equipment. The "Pride and Joy" of his electronic collection was his Jensen 5 string solid body electric violin. He was renowned in Central NJ as a fiddler, guitarist, bassist, and as a musician attuned to the musical needs he could provide the many groups in which he played. He played in The Ragtime Relics, The Wandering Bards, Colin McKay & Co., Instant Band, Etc. Primitive Soul, Water Shed, Super Genius, and Bruce Tunkel (Red House) singer/songwriter/guitar/keys.

With his considerable IT industry accomplishments and pursuits, his musical adventures, church and civic contributions, Ray was, above all, devoted to his family. Ray is survived by his beloved wife Laura (Garretson) Fyhr and their four children, Christoffer Hansen Fyhr, Michael Xavier Fyhr, Margaret (Maggie) Electra Fyhr (Styler), Esmeralda (Emma) Anna-Catherine Fyhr, and by Alexandra Patricia (Hicks) Fyhr and David Styler, his daughter- and son-in-law, as well as his first grandchild, Zoe Aleksandra Fyhr. He is also survived by his sister Ann Carmen Fyhr (Gamble) who shared his love of music and family throughout his life.

The family will hold an event in celebration of Ray's life on Saturday, September 10. The details for this event will be available later. Cards, letters, photos, memorabilia, and personal tributes to Ray may be sent to the Fyhrs' home or shared on that date. The family welcomes everyone who loved Ray to join them.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Raymond Ray Fyhr, please visit our flower store.

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