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Claremont Courier - A Local Nonprofit Newsroom

Obituary: Raymond Joseph Magdziarz

OLA parishioner, amateur astronomer, electronic engineer

Raymond Magdziarz died on March 17 from several health issues, including complications from diabetes. He was 91.

Ray is survived by his wife of 58 years, Irene (nee Elwart); children, Anne (husband Erik), William (wife Dawn), Susan, and Robert (wife Suzanne); and granddaughter Audrey.

He was born in Chicago on May 13, 1928, the youngest of three children. He served in Korea from 1950 to 1952. In 1961, he and Irene were married in Chicago. They moved their family to Claremont in 1978. 

A serious amateur astronomer, Mr. Magdziarz built his own telescopes and home observatory. He was an active member of the Pomona Valley Amateur Astronomers club for several decades. He saw solar eclipses from five countries. 

He was always learning new things, from how to develop photos in his home darkroom to panning for gold at the East Fork in the San Gabriel Mountains. His first attempt at homemade wine was deemed “undrinkable” by the LA County Fair judges. He didn’t give up, and finally received multiple gold, silver, and bronze awards for his wines. He also traveled to all 50 states with his family, visiting National Parks along the way. 

“The heavens are brighter by one more star,” his family shared.

Mr. Magdziarz is interred at the National Cemetery in Riverside. Due to public health concerns regarding coronavirus, the date and time of a celebration of life will be determined in the near future. 

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