Ray Hain was born on April 21, 1959, in Oak Park, Illinois, the son of Edward and Beverly Hain. His family moved to Minnesota when he was in sixth grade. Ray graduated from Alexander Ramsey High School in Roseville, Minnesota, in 1977. He married his wife, Gail, in 1986, and they have two daughters, Rachel and Sara.
At 6′ 6″ tall, Ray played basketball in high school and then for two years in college. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in business and philosophy. He was an avid bicyclist. He was also a talented and creative woodworker, and he gifted many people with beautiful pieces of wood furniture, intarsia art, and his own original Christmas nutcrackers and ornaments. Ray loved being outdoors and going camping, hiking, and on travel adventures with his family.
After working in the corporate world for many years, Ray was excited to join the St. Paul Fire Department in 1994. After completing the academy as one of the top recruits, he chose to work as a “pool” firefighter and EMT. One of his captains described him as “highly regarded and dependable. He knew when to be serious, but he was hilarious. He was upbeat and had a great attitude.” Ray thrived on the adrenaline rush of fighting fires and trying to save lives. He had deep respect and appreciation for all his firefighter brothers and sisters.
In 1997, Ray was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy and heart failure resulting from his job duties as a firefighter and EMT. In November 1998, he was the miraculous recipient of a heart transplant. In 2009, Ray became increasingly sick due to the deterioration of the transplanted heart and the toll of taking anti-rejection medications for years. Even though he was not able to return to the work that he loved, the transplant allowed his life to be extended for 11 more precious years that he shared fully with family and friends. During that time he spent many generous hours volunteering for his daughters’ school and sports activities, as well as for his church and for others.
Ray is survived by his wife, Gail; daughters, Rachel and Sara; sisters, Sherry (Norb) Duval and Karen (Greg) Sitzmann; and brother, Steve (Jan) Hain.