Ray's son Roger and son-in-law Dan started this blog so that all Ray's friends could share in the celebration of his life. Ray amassed countless friends from all corners of the globe. His death has taken a piece of all of us with him. We hope that this blog will serve as a safe harbor from our grief. We would particularly like humorous stories and recollections of Ray (pictures too) . As the blog content builds, we will not dwell on our regret at having lost such a rare gem as Ray but rather count our blessings at having shared a piece of life with someone who treasured life's every moment. Until we meet again Ray....and keep the home brew cold!

A Soul's Counterpart

Ray married Maria Stylianou in July of 1961 in Hodgdon, Maine.

We'd like this section to be devoted to memories and stories from his extended family. Please contribute by clicking on the "comments" below the photo. If you have pictures that you would like to share, please email them to us.

Friends and Colleagues

Perhaps those who know him best are his friends and colleagues from work, the neighborhood, and Ray and Maria's travels. Any reminiscences, from homebrew, to Peru, to overdue ERS reports, will be appreciated and treasured. And as always, please help build our web album by emailing us pictures.

Greece and Lebanon

Ray was fortunate to be able to spend a great deal of each summer on the island of Spetses in Greece. His relationships there are deep and he had a very special bond with the island.

He was also a professor of agricultural economics at the American University of Beirut.

For those friends who knew him during his time in Lebanon, or during his summers in Greece, we offer a place to tell us what you remember best. Please add to the comments below and send us pictures


Ray Wiley Nightingale
  • Born January 2, 1936 in Danforth, Maine.
  • Died at home in Bethesda, Maryland on May 31, 2008
  • Preceded in death by his parents, Elmer and Evelyn Nightingale.
  • Beloved husband of Maria Stylianou Nightingale for 47 years.
  • Loving Father of Roger Nightingale and Malina Koerschner and equally loving father-in-law of Daniel Koerschner and Kathy Nightingale.
  • Adored grandfather of Cal, Caroline, Luke and Kelly.
  • Survived by his sister Patricia Myers, brother Paul Nightingale and their spouses, Norb and Carolyn.
Ray served in the US Army from 1956 until 1958 and, in 1960, completed a Bachelors degree from Clark University. On July 1st of 1961, he married Maria Stylianou. In 1962, he was awarded a Master Degree in agricultural economics from the University of Massachusetts. Ray completed his PhD in agricultural economics at Cornell University in 1968, where his research took him and his family to New Delhi, India for a year. He served as a Professor of Economics in Lebanon at the American University of Beirut from 1968 to 1975. He has been a Washington area resident since 1975, where he continued his career with the Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He retired from the USDA in 1997 after 22 years of public service. He traveled extensively and enjoyed every summer with his wife and family in Greece. He was a loved and enjoyable companion to all who knew him.