Raymond Ballard Orrell III, the dear husband of Audrey Louise (Lawton) Orrell since 1961, died on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington. He has been a resident of Andover since 1963, and lived at home until January of this year, the month of his seventy-eighth birthday. During the final hours of his earthly pilgrimage, his wife and two sons surrounded and held him in prayer and silence, Scripture, and words of blessing.
Born in California, the son of the late Raymond B. Orrell II and of the late Geraldine Selena (Smith) Orrell, Ray grew up in the town of Arlington under the devoted care of his mother and two aunts. A graduate of Arlington High School, he studied at the University of Massachusetts and at Boston University. Persevering in the midst of family responsibilities, and training as a paratrooper at the time of the war in Korea, he graduated and began a distinguished and decades-long career as a civil engineer. As an employee of the Badger Company in Kendall Square, Cambridge - a leader in the design of oil refineries and energy plants - Ray consulted at sites under construction in England, Trinidad and Tobago, Texas and Pennsylvania, and Alberta. His ceaseless attention to matters of design produced a great variety of home renovations and additions for family, neighbors and friends. After employment in Cambridge, he established a new business, Orrell Construction, and took on a continuous stream of projects in the homes of Metro Boston, the Merrimack Valley, and Cape Cod.
Searching for answers to questions concerning his family origins, Ray systematically assembled a genealogical record that extends back to the sixteenth century. With the assistance and advice of his sons and neighbors, Ray explored the history, architecture, geography, and culture of New England. He joined or participated in both the New England Historic Geneological Society in Boston and the General Society of Mayflower Descendants in Plymouth. Having received Christian education and nurture in his childhood, Ray received Jesus Christ as his Savior and Lord in 1977. Over the years he associated with a number of local churches, most recently with the New England Bible Church. He cultivated specific knowledge and enjoyment of the outdoors: the marine creatures of coastal New England and the upkeep and operation of motorboats; the beauty of the White Mountains and the use of their hiking and skiing trails; the wildlife of Essex County and the leisure of its woods and beaches. In his later years he took special delight in model trains and locomotive history, as well as in the major-league football, baseball, and hockey teams of his native Boston.