Ray was born June 15, 1945 to Frank and Eva (Gowen) Holcomb. Frank served on the USS Chester during WWII and Eva was a lathe operator to support the war effort. Frank returned in 1946 to finally meet his son. The family settled in Troy, MI, where Ray and his brother, Ron, led an idyllic childhood in a neighborhood full of young families and kids. Ray met his future wife, Peggy, in junior high school and since then they have rarely been apart.

Ray graduated as Valedictorian from Troy High School in 1963 and enrolled at UM. In 1964, he married Peggy, who worked to support Ray’s studies. Throughout the years, they took turns supporting each other’s education, careers and the household. Ray was one of the first UM students to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. He later returned to earn his MBA.

Pear Street was home for more than 40 years with their boys, Matthew, Andrew and Benjamin. Ray and Peggy renovated the 100-year-old house themselves and cherished its quirky lot on Ann Arbor’s North side.

Over many years the boys attended Clonlara, Northside, Clague, Emerson, Greenhills, Gabriel Richard, Huron High School, Hope College and the University of Michigan. Ray and Peggy are fiercely proud that their hard work has been able to provide 10 college degrees for themselves, their sons and their grandchildren.

Books were a passion for Ray. He was always reading, repairing books and curating his library of history, literature, and science. He would often pull a random volume of his 11th Edition Encyclopedia Britannica and read an entry on whichever page fell open. He was striving to learn something about everything, his notion of being “an inch deep and a mile wide.”

Ray and Peggy have been a loving and inseparable team since high school. Whether garage-saling or traveling the world, they did it all with joy and gusto. Together they took countless trips. Ray lived abroad in Germany during a long and beloved work deployment.

Ray’s life was ended too early by Lewy Body Dementia on June 23, 2022. This cruel disease robbed Ray of his ability to enjoy life with his wife and family. It took away his ability to read and to travel. His brilliance, generosity and love, however, never waned.

Ray is survived by his sweetheart and wife of 58 years Peggy (Kingsbury) Holcomb, his younger brother Ron Holcomb, his sons, Matthew (Michelle), Andrew (Jillian Moreno), Benjamin (Chelsea) and his prized grandchildren Isobel, Henry and Chester.  

No public memorial is planned. The family will honor Ray’s life at his favorite spot in the U.P. Ray was a Past Master of Masonic Lodge 159 (162) in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Whispered in reverence by all of his beloved fellow Travelers on this sad day, “His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant … enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” –Matthew 25:21