Raymond E. Guyll

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Barbara Guyll sent this to us:

Raymond E. Guyll
November 21, 1940 – November 2, 2014

It is with great sadness that I sit and write about my wonderful husband after his passing. He fought a valiant battle against lymphoma but succumbed peacefully Sunday morning, November 2, 2014.

Ray was born November 21, 1940 in Tulsa, OK but spent most of his life in Washington state. He graduated from Everett High School in 1959, attended Everett Junior College then went on the road as a rock n’ roll and jazz musician. He went back to school and earned B.A. and M.A. degrees from Western Washington State College (now Western Washington University) and an M.A. from the University of Washington. His master’s degrees were in Conducting and in Performance. He taught band and several other subjects for 18 years at all grade levels. Sixteen of those years were spent teaching at Chinook Junior High in Bellevue, Washington. He taught music privately in Everett and Redmond for more years than I knew him.

Ray spent eight years as the conductor of the Woodinville Community Band bringing together a group of musicians ages 12-80. He was still playing with fellow musicians from his high school years up until a couple months before his death. He was most recently the director of the Microsoft Jumpin’ Jive Orchestra, an 18 piece Big Band with vocalists.

Ray also had a passion for ventriloquism and puppetry. He fell in love with puppets the first time he saw the Disney movie, “Pinocchio.” He started studying everything he could find about ventriloquism while in college but couldn’t afford to purchase a dummy so he taught himself how to build one. That began a lifetime career in figure building that earned him the title, “The Master.” He also performed in clubs and on cruise ships worldwide with “Iron Jaw McGraw,” one of his most ingenious creations.

Ray’s favorite thing to do as a family was to go to Disneyland. He chose to spend his 70th birthday there. He loved going to movies and playing board games with all the kids.

Ray and I were married July 15, 1992 and I was blessed to have 22 years with him. He was the love of my life, I could never have imagined finding such love. I have worked side by side with him both in music and figure building. I learned so much from him about both but more importantly I learned self confidence and self esteem which has prepared me for life without him.

Ray is survived by his daughters Sabrina, Sharmaine and Sheryl; stepsons Derek and Ryan (Bre); eight grandchildren, Kaitlin, Morgan, Kyler, Olivia, Killian, Samantha and Kasen; brother Don (Donna) and sister Gladys.

His final message to all of his friends and family was to “have the best life possible without hurting yourself.” and “remember the fun times.”

He requested that there not be any memorial services, he preferred we have gatherings and have fun. The MJJO will be performing their first concert of 2015 in his honor and there will be an informal jam session in Everett at the end of November. You can contact me at grinanddizzy@comcast.net for more information.





Ventriloquist Central is the brainchild of Dan Willinger and Steve Hurst. Dan is a ventriloquism enthusiast and ventriloquist figure collector. He has been collecting for over 25 years. He created the Ventriloquist Central Collection. It now has over 100 ventriloquist figures and over 50 of them are Frank Marshall figures. Steve is a ventriloquist as well as builder of ventriloquist figures. He also has a background in sales, marketing, building websites and computers. Because they both love the art of ventriloquism, the website Ventriloquist Central was born. For more information about the website, go to: http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com

Copyright 2014 by Dan Willinger and Steve Hurst

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4 Responses to Raymond E. Guyll

  1. David Erskine says:

    Well said, dear Barbara. Your friendship and Ray’s has always been important to me.

  2. Eet Eed says:

    thank you so much for sharing this. my condolences to you.

  3. Phil Mitchell says:

    I was one of the fortunate guys that knew Ray back in the high school days. We were a part of a 6 – piece rock and roll band for 2 years. When we had a 50 -year reunion of the band I 2009, it was a magic day for all. Ray and I, along with our drummer Mike White, would get together occasionally to jam. I feel so fortunate to have reconnected with my old friend. I consider him to be one of the best musicians I have ever known. I will miss him.

  4. Stasia says:

    We are friends of the Barr family and, through them, learned of Ray’s passing. Ray instructed my sons Mak & Sam years ago at Kennelly Keys in Redmond and was a joy and inspiration to them. A quick memory: I once mentioned being a fan of “ALF” and Ray had his friend, who worked the Alf puppet, send me a signed picture which I have to this day. He did it just for nothing–I hadn’t asked–and I think it speaks to the kind of guy he was: generous with both his teaching and his enthusiasm for music and puppetry. Sending you much love and thanks for sharing your wonderful husband with us!

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