Raymond R. Wernig was born May 17, 1920 in Madison, Wisconsin. He moved to Akron at age seven and was raised by his brother Charles and his wife Marguerite. He attended grade school in Akron and is a Buchtel High School graduate. Ray returned to Madison and graduated from The University of Wisconsin in 1941 with degrees in history and economics, was a leader at Kappa Sigma Fraternity, and Army ROTC.
Ray met and fell in love with Marty, the girl of his dreams, at Wisconsin. They were married on June 21, 1941 and recently celebrated their seventy-seventh wedding anniversary. Ray was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army in June 1941. He was a graduate of The United States Army Command and General Staff School. He served thirty-six months overseas with tours in North Ireland, England, France and Germany. He was awarded the Bronze Star with three Battle Stars. He resigned his commission in November 1945 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in The United States Army Corps of Engineers.
Ray’s huge heart to assist children in need was exemplified through his leadership in The Rotary Club of Akron and its Camp on Rex Lake, Junior Achievement, Our Lady of the Elms, St. Vincent Grade School, St. Vincent-St. Mary HS, and Walsh Jesuit. Ray was named an Honorary Alumni of The University of Akron in 2004 and the recipient of the Sisters of St. Dominic Friend of the Elms Award in 2007. Ray was also active in many Akron community organizations including Catholic Service League, E.J. Thomas Hall, Hill Toppers, Hower House, and The Ohio Ballet. He served twenty-two years as Vice-Chairman of Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens, a multi-decade trustee of The David C. and Mary S. Corbin Foundation and The Helen Wolle Foundation. Ray was an original Extraordinary Minister at St. Sebastian Catholic Church. Ray continued his faith devotion and Extraordinary Ministry at St. Vincent in Akron and St. William in Naples, Florida. Ray’s actions in community involvement continued in Naples through Meals on Wheels and tutoring English as a Second Language.
The Raymond R. and Martha G. Wernig Foundation was established on June 15, 2000 to support their philanthropic interests. Many charities benefitted from their generosity in Akron with their main focus in Naples to Habitat of Humanity and Guadalupe Center.
As an executive at The RCA Rubber Company and his forty-four year career as a financial advisor, Ray’s customers became life-long friends where their priorities were his first priority. His personal and business ethics were second to none. His dedication to their financial betterment inspired him until his retirement in 2010 at age ninety. His understanding of math and business trends was unparalleled. Ray was repeatedly honored by Bache & Co as a member of their Chairman’s Council. He passed his love for the game of golf to his children and grandchildren. Lee Trevino could not shape the Butterknife better than “One Iron Wernig”!
Ray passed away peacefully in Naples on October 18, 2018. Ray enjoyed an incredible life and a beautiful love story. He is survived by his wife, Martha, and their children Stephanie, Cynthia Parry, Charles ”Chip” (Peggy), Mia Elfrink (Joe), Jennifer Groth (Bill), and Mark (Colleen), sixteen grandchildren, twelve great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild. A funeral Mass celebrating Ray’s life will be held Thursday, October 25, 10:00 am at St. William Church in Naples, FL. A memorial Mass and burial will be held at St. Vincent Church in Akron, Ohio at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift to The Wernig Foundation at Morgan Stanley, or the charity of your choice.