Raymond Berryessa

Obituary of Raymond Berryessa


October 27, 1942 – July 9, 2018

45 year resident of Santa Cruz

Ray was a lover and a fighter and he fought one of the toughest battles of his life. He endured so much to stay with his family. In the end, he willed himself a memorable, final day with his family before he left us Monday morning.  Ray enjoyed foot massages, being serenaded to and received so much love in those last hours. He kept his spirit up and even brought us moments of laughter to help ease his pain and ours.

Ray was a loving husband, super DAD and grandfather. He worked hard to provide for his family and they were his pride and biggest joy. Ray’s hobby was spending time with his family and friends.  He was the one you wanted to take care of you when you were sick, to answer the door when you got home late, to find the best deal and if he couldn’t fix something...no one could. He was the life of the party and will always be remembered with a smile on his face and for making others smile. A comedian and joker at times, he always knew what he was doing or saying...usually just to get a rise out of us. When it came time to give thanks, Ray always practiced the values of his Catholic faith.

Ray loved gardening and could make anything grow. He was a lover of animals; continually caring for his family pets, taking in stray ones and lost pets. As a husband, he and his beloved wife Jean also traveled the world and made wonderful memories to be shared with annual vacations to Hawaii, and their journeys to Europe, Morocco, and Egypt to name a few.

Ray was proud of his Berryessa heritage and the pioneering spirit of his ancestors. His zest for life is survived by his wife of 45 years, Jean Berryessa, his daughters; Christine Benjamin, Carolyn Berryessa Brown, Michelle Berryessa, and Nicole Murphy; sons-in-laws: Frank Benjamin, Rob Brown, Vern Fernandez, and Fred Murphy.  He also leaves behind his grandchildren: Jackson Benjamin, Jesse Brown, Michaela Urbanczyk, Ocean White, and Sean Murphy and his brother Richard Berryessa. He was preceded in death by his parents: Robert Samuel Berryessa and Elizabeth Augusta Weiss Berryessa, sister, Barbara Longinotti and brother, Bob Berryessa.

Always thinking ahead, Ray left behind cold beers in the fridge, bottles of whisky to share, laughter and memories for his family and friends.

A mass to celebrate Ray’s life will be on Thursday July 12, 2018 at 11am at Holy Cross Catholic Church (126 High Street) in Santa Cruz.  Committal will be private. Any kind acts of charity can be made in Ray’s memory to the Katz Cancer Resource Center. 3150 Mission Drive Santa Cruz, CA 95065. https://www.supportdominican.org/donate (designation: Katz Cancer Center)