Longtime Community News photographer passes away
Longtime Community News photographer Ray Rockwell, of O’Fallon, passed away on May 5 at the age of 75.
Rockwell began working for the Community News in 1999.
“Ray Rockwell was a longtime employee and friend. We will miss him,” said Robert Huneke, publisher-emeritus of the Community News.
Rockwell proudly served his country with honor in the United States Army. He retired from the Ford Motor Company after a 35-year career and was then able to open his own photography business, Ray Rockwell Photography. Not long after he came to work for the Community News.
“In my 19-years writing sports for the paper, Ray was always was eager to snap some shots of the scenes that I would broadcast, interview or write,” said Gary Baute, Community News sports reporter. “His final grand photo shoot, to my knowledge, was in the Bahamas in January. He called me and said, ‘Gary B, I have some great pictures and story on my dream trip.’ He received the gift last year on Father’s Day from his family of six kids (Rob, Missy, Debby, Denny, Tim and Stacie). They said, ‘We want you to live out your dream and go to the LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association) in the Bahamas.’
Rockwell was husband of the late Donna Rockwell, the love of his life to whom he was married for 48 years.
“You would be hard-pressed to find a friendlier or kinder person than Ray,” said Mathew DeKinder, publisher of the Community News. “He never met a stranger and was always willing to share a smile and a story. We have lost a true friend.”
Memorial contributions may be made in Ray’s honor to Assumption Catholic Church.