It is with great sadness to report the death of Ray Hawes, aged 75, on Sunday 3rd November after a long battle with cancer. He died peacefully at home in Mt Pleasant, Charleston, South Carolina, USA.
Ray was an outstanding local sportsman, one of the best of his generation. He was a very talented cricketer & golfer & also played table tennis & squash. Moreover, he was a charismatic, generous person, who touched many peoples’ lives.
Ray was born in Aylesbury & spent his childhood & early married life in Long Crendon. He went to Lord Williams’ grammar school in Thame & left after 5th form to work with his father, Willis, at Crendon Concrete; then formed Hawes Farm Buildings. He moved to Grendon Underwood in 1980 and then to Devon for several years before moving to the USA. He first resided in New Hampshire before settling in Charleston, South Carolina, where he established his businesses.
On the cricket field Ray opened the batting firstly at Thame CC, where he set records of scoring 1,000 runs in consecutive seasons in the 1960’s. He captained the club before moving to Aylesbury CC after which he then played county cricket for Bucks. He became the 1st Aylesbury batsman for 20yrs to score 1,000 runs and went on to captain the club for many seasons in 1970’s. He also played for SOA (South Oxon Amateurs) and later for Devon over 50’s. It is believed he achieved the remarkable feat of scoring 100 centuries over his career.
Ray was also a single figure handicap golfer. He was a member of Oxford City (Southfield) & Buckingham golf clubs. Ray was a founder member of Five Star Events, an Oxfordshire organisation running golf events for local charities, and was its President in 2009/10.
Whilst in the USA Ray went on to patent a number of inventions. In 2000 he set up Rapid Deployable Systems Inc, which marketed his structures, which enables bridges, such as the Bay bridge in San Francisco and the one in Detroit linking US & Canada, to be enclosed for repairs/maintenance. He then obtained the contracts for the US Navy fleets in Norfolk, Virginia & Seattle to enclose their aircraft carriers. He was recognized by the US government for his innovative work which resulted in him having dual American/British citizenship. Most recently he invented the framework for a category 5 hurricane proof house, made from aluminium. The house is the first of its kind and is engineered to withstand winds up to 157mph and earthquakes up to 8 on Richter scale. These houses are built by one of his companies,Cat Five Houses of Charleston.
Ray is survived by his wife of 55yrs, Maureen (nee King) who was born in Thame, sisters Daphne, Margaret and Sylvia, his four children: Nina, Julia, Angela & Geoff, & 9 grandchildren.
Ray will be sorely missed. His funeral will take place on Thursday 14th November in Mt Pleasant. The family intend to hold a memorial service in England in due course.