Yet another light has been extinguished from this earth, but the firmament of Heaven has gained a new star. Raymond (Ray) Pigott departed this earth Tuesday, 20th October, at Hayesville House Memory Care Facility.
The family would like to thank all friends and family who gave love and support these last three years, and extend a special thank you to the dedicated and caring staff of Hayesville House.
Ray was born 12th September, 1940, in Reading, Berkshire, and was evacuated to Liverpool, then Wales with his mother while his father remained in London to battle the fires resulting from the bombings.
He had a happy childhood, and excelled at Colfe’s Grammar School. Chess and bridge were two of his favorite hobbies, and he never failed to win prizes (he always chose books, which he thoroughly enjoyed) due to his scholastic achievements. He attended Southampton University, majoring in Math and Chemistry, but in his final year he was introduced to the new world of computing, and that’s the path he chose to follow.
During his IT career, he was employed by the Bank of London, Legal and General Assurance, International Computers Ltd., London, and at Aldermaston, site of the UK’s nuclear weapons program. He was Director of EDP and Telecommunications for Blue Cross Blue Shield Chicago in the 60’s then moved back to England to raise his family. He was Vice Chairman for the Society for Information Management (Europe) and a member of the British Computer Society. He was the Information Technology Director for Sterling-Winthrop IT Group, and when it was purchased by Eastman Kodak Company, he moved to Rochester, NY, until his early retirement in 1999. He had often brought his IT team to Atlanta and the combination of weather and Southern hospitality influenced his decision to make Georgia the place to retire. Retirement lasted a year, until a colleague convinced him to accept a two year position with South African Paper Products Inc. (SAPPI) in Portland, Maine. This included the infamous “Y2K” drama, and he spent New Year’s Eve, 1999 at the office with his staff, reporting to the South African Head Office every hour that all programs were running normally.
When his assignment in Maine was complete, it was time to return to the South. He always referred to it as “God’s own country,” and he loved the relaxed lifestyle. Another love was singing, and he became a member of the High Country Harmonizers Barbershop Chorus. He also put his acting talents to use at the Blue Ridge Community Theatre, and his performances were well received.
Ray was a member of St. Luke’s Church in Blue Ridge, and looked forward to singing in the choir each week. Although he was known at times to antagonize organist Eileen, she couldn’t help but laugh at his antics.
Ray has received numerous tributes from former colleagues and employees, and without fail they thank him for his mentoring, his thoughtfulness, and his ability to allow them to utilize their abilities to achieve their full potential. At the completion of stressful projects Ray often organized celebratory get-togethers as a gesture of appreciation to staff and their beleaguered spouses. They were always fun, memorable and talked about for months.
Ray is survived by Lynn, his wife of 31 years, daughter Sharon Walsh (Kieran), Nicky Harrison (Spencer), sister Sheila Johnson Thomas (John), and grandchildren Gregory, Imogen, Natalie and Madeleine Rose, first wife Lyn and husband Doug.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made to St. Luke’s Church, 7 Ewing St., Blue Ridge, Georgia, 30513 or online at www.stlukesblueridge.org, payable to “General Fund.” A service will be held there Thursday, November 5, 2020, at 1 p.m.