1946 – 2015 | Obituary
Raymond Paul Ferrante Decorated combat helicopter pilot in Vietnam War with 101st Airborne and Air America; personal pilot to Donald Trump, 68
Raymond Paul Ferrante of Long Valley, N.J., died unexpectedly on Saturday, April 18, 2015. He was 68 years old.
A memorial celebration will be held at the Ferrante residence on May 2 from 1 to 4 p.m. The funeral will be held at Arlington National Cemetery. For online condolences and information, visit williamjleberfh.com.
Raymond was born on Nov. 4, 1946, in the Bronx, N.Y., to Marie (nee Morel) and Ugo Ferrante; they predeceased him along with his brother, Louis, and step-father, James Myers.
After two years at Manhattan College, Raymond joined the Army’s 101st Airborne Division as a helicopter pilot, which would become both his lifelong passion and career, with over 25,000 flight hours. In Vietnam, he completed over 2,100 hours of combat flight time and received 48 Air Medals, three with valor, as well as a Bronze Star. He returned to Vietnam with Air America for three years, met his wife, Sherry, in Saigon, and then worked around the world in Iran, Mexico, the Arctic, Morocco, the Bahamas, and Saudi Arabia.
Raymond joined Trump Airlines in 1984 and later served as Donald Trump’s personal pilot.
He retired from the N.J. National Guard in 2006 as a CW5 master chief warrant officer – the highest rank achievable by an Army warrant officer – with over 20 years of service.
A skilled carpenter and builder, and devoted lover of all things mechanical (especially classic cars), he passed away in the 1961 Chevrolet Corvette he meticulously restored piece by piece.
No man can be summed up in a single paragraph, least of all Raymond Ferrante. He was a true wealth of knowledge and possessed wisdom, wit, strength, work ethic, loyalty, and integrity that was apparent to all he encountered. Raymond will be remembered as an uncommonly generous and selfless man, never thinking of himself and always willing to lend a helping hand. He will be profoundly missed.
A beloved husband, father, son, and friend, he leaves behind a family bereft: his wife, Sherry, daughter, Nancy, and sons, James and Warren. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations in his name are made to the Army Aviation Association of America, the NJARNG Yellow Ribbon Program, or a national veterans’ charity of one’s choosing.
Published in Star-Ledger on Apr. 26, 2015
Ferrante, Raymond Paul [MCattendee RIP]
Guestbook: same link
[JR: Attendees are recognized on the theory “if it’s important to some to mention in an obit, then we can spare a few prayers”. Perhaps, the time at MC was both formative and important to our comrade. And, imho, VietNam interrupted many plans. It was a national tragedy for my generation — for those that went, stayed, or evaded. A good many of those who went never came back and maybe those that did had new priorities. Seems like he found his passion and wife as a result of the war. Dona Nobis Pacem]
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