Ray F. Githens, Jr.
Ray F. Githens, Jr.
Ray F. Githens, Jr., age 73, passed away on May 4, 2023. A long-time resident of West Berlin, New Jersey, Ray spent most of his youth in Summit and Cherry Hill, New Jersey. In 1969, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and served at Guantanamo Bay and on Okinawa with the 3D Marine Division, 7th Fleet Marine Force Pacific. In October 1971, he was honorably discharged from active duty with the rank of Lance Corporal. Following his military service, Ray received a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Rider College where he also discovered his true passions, art and woodworking.
He gained experience working as a carpenter and moved to Denver, Colorado in the eighties. Because he always approached each project with an artistic eye, he eventually realized he needed to work independently, and, in 1989, returned to New Jersey to start his own business, Artistic Woodworking. Ray specialized in creating custom woodwork and remodeling projects including elaborate paneled libraries, kitchens, and entertainment spaces. He was not only a fine craftsman but also a gifted artist and a sculptor in wood and, occasionally, marble and alabaster. His sense of design, love of exotic woods, and ability to use a wide assortment of tools, both modern and antique, allowed him to follow his passion and create stunning sculptures of human figures as well as unique pieces of furniture.
A self-described workaholic, he often said he lived to work and, thus, was never idle. His last project, unfinished at his death, was the building of a 20-foot, 1915 racing sloop called Dark Harbor 12-1/2.
Ray was the son of Emily and Ray F. Githens and is survived by his sisters Nancy (Steve) and Kay, his nephew John (Diana), great-nephew Conrad, numerous Githens and Heinicke cousins, and close friends, Abe and Willard.
A non-sectarian graveside service is planned for Ray at Locustwood Memorial Park, Cherry Hill, NJ, on Saturday, August 19, 2023 at 10 am. He’ll be buried with military honors.