Raymond Stowell Blanford, beloved husband, brother, father, and grandfather, passed away on August 25, 2023, his 81st birthday. A long-time resident of Annandale, VA, he is survived by his wife of 56 years, Susan Ward Blanford, his sister Anne Teghtmeyer of Lansing, MI, his son Geoffrey Blanford and his wife Anja Brau of Menlo Park, CA, and two cherished grandchildren, Calvin and Annabel Blanford.
Born in Kalamazoo, MI, in 1942 to John Nichols Blanford and Betty Ruth Stowell, he majored in math at Kalamazoo College and joined the Army in 1966. He was stationed in Washington, DC, when he met Sue while playing football outside their apartments. They were married in Lansing, MI, in 1967. After his military service, he was trained as a computer programmer and embarked on a lifelong career as a systems engineer and software developer, ultimately working for Northrop Grumman for the past 30 years on U.S. government contracts. He was a well-respected expert in the industry and became indispensable to his colleagues, finally retiring in 2022.
Ray was devoted to his family and loved sharing every occasion with them, big or small. He was an ever-present supporter, playmate, consoler, joke-teller, and source of wisdom. He was kind, sincere, generous, and never put himself first. He volunteered for his church, neighborhood, and his son's schools. He was an exquisite present-wrapper, cookie-decorator, and pumpkin-carver. He was up for anything. He loved to travel, especially to see his grandchildren. He cared deeply about the people around him and always made sure they knew.
A memorial service and reception will be held on September 15 at 11 a.m. at the Church of the Good Shepherd at 9350 Braddock Road in Burke, VA, where Ray and Sue have been members for over 40 years. Friends and relatives are welcome to join our celebration of a life well lived. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Ray's name to The Myositis Association at www.myositis.org.