Marblehead — Raymond Joseph “Ray” Jalbert, 98, of Marblehead, passed peacefully at home on January 28, 2014, after a period of declining health. Born December 13, 1915, in Salem to the late Joseph and Alma (Beaupre) Jalbert, Ray had the rare privilege of living in one hundred different calendar years. He grew up in what was known as the “Castle Hill” area of Salem and moved to Marblehead after his marriage in 1945, where he had resided since.
He is survived by his wife of nearly 69 years, Priscilla “Pat” (Freeto) Jalbert and son, Paul E. Jalbert, both of Marblehead.
Ray started working at a young age, as was common in large families in those days, at leather factories in Salem and Haverhill, often working two full-time jobs to give his wife and son the life he wanted for them.
He was employed as a custodian in the Marblehead Public Schools in 1963, first at the former Junior High School then at the former Story School and finally at the Bell School. He was well-known for organizing soccer games with the elementary school-age kids during recess. Ray retired from the school system in 1981.
After his retirement, Ray enjoyed working around the house and yard, especially cutting the grass and raking leaves (a trait that his son did not inherit). He was still raking leaves at his summer camp in Barnstead, New Hampshire, as recently as six months ago.
Ray served in the U.S. Army, stationed in New Orleans, and was honorably discharged in 1943. He was also a member of the Gerry 5 VFA in Marblehead.
He attended St. Ann schools in Salem and was a communicant of Saint Ann Church while growing up and later the Star of the Sea Church in Marblehead, from which Ray and Pat were married.
Ray was the oldest of fourteen children, three of whom survive him, Emile “Tootsi” of Florida, Roland of Beverly and Robert of Danvers. He was predeceased by brothers, Henry “Tom,” Arthur “Archie,” Earnest “Whitey,” Joseph “Chinky,” and Rudolph “Rudy” and sisters, Eva Ethridge, Mary Frechette, Rita Jalbert, Cecile Donahue and Jean “Pauline” Correia.