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Raymond Pieczarka, 84, of Great Barrington

He oversaw the L. John Schinelli Renal Assistance Fund, benefitting both the Baystate Medical Center and Berkshire Medical Center renal dialysis units.

It is with sadness that the family of Raymond F. Pieczarka of Great Barrington announces his passing in the early morning hours of Feb. 18 at the Kimball Farms Nursing Facility in Lenox.

Raymond Pieczarka

Raymond was born Oct. 23, 1934, in Chicopee to Matthew and Helen (Przewoznik) Pieczarka. He was an only child born into a traditional Polish family. Ray attended local schools in Chicopee. After serving in the Army and receiving a degree in mechanical engineering, Ray purchased Dee Service, a HVAC company in Agawam in 1960. He went on to build Dee Service into a successful residential and commercial contracting business, retiring in 2013.

He was on the board of the Springfield Salvation Army, Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic in Lenox, and the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce. He was also member of the Rotary of Springfield. He oversaw the L. John Schinelli Renal Assistance Fund, benefitting both the Baystate Medical Center and Berkshire Medical Center renal dialysis units. Ray was a supporter of the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Tanglewood, Williamstown Theatre Festival and Sculpture Now.

Ray had a lifelong passion for cars, beginning with his hot rod club in high school and collecting cars well into his later years. He was a member of the Monday Mountain Hiking Boys and enjoyed the new friendships he formed hiking the Appalachian Trail and throughout the Berkshires. He traveled extensively, loved to ski and to seek new adventures. He lived his life to the fullest with no regrets.

Raymond leaves his wife, Madeleine (Mandy) Pieczarka; his daughter Lynn Pieczarka of Worcester; his daughter Kimberly Thom and husband Frank of Mill Valley, California; his brother and sister-in-law John and Marilyn Garner; niece Jonna Racela (Jason); nephew Jason Garner; great-nieces; great-nephews; and his furry best friend, Miss Gabby. He leaves his lifelong friend, Felix Valletti. He was predeceased by his first wife, Lillian (Toni) Taylor Pieczarka.

Arrangements will be handled by Finnerty & Stevens Funeral Home in Great Barrington. At the family’s request, there will be no calling hours. A memorial gathering, to be announced, will be held at a later date to celebrate Ray’s life. Contributions in Ray’s name may be made to the L. John Schinelli Renal Assistance Fund, Greenagers Youth Environment Community or Alzheimer’s Association in c/o FINNERTY & STEVENS FUNERAL HOME, 426 Main St., Great Barrington, MA 01230. To send remembrances to the family, go to www.finnertyandstevens.com

The Pieczarka family would like to thank Ray’s caregivers, Tina Earl and Todd Saldana; the staff at Melbourne Place, including Cara Holcomb, Melissa Metcalf; and the many aids, especially Kayla and Ena. They would like to thank Dr. Consolati and the nurses at the Kimball Farms Nursing Home and the friends and family who have given their support during Ray’s long and difficult journey with Alzheimer’s disease.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~ Maya Angelou

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The Edge Is Free To Read.

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