12/15/1968 – 3/1/2020
On March 1, 2020, Ray Anthony Martinez left this earth to play in the most ultimate corn hole tournament in heaven. During his six-year battle with cancer, Ray always maintained a positive attitude and fighting spirit.
Ray was born on Dec. 15, 1968 in Santa Barbara and lived his entire life in Carpinteria. He attended Canalino School, Carpinteria Middle School and Carpinteria High School excelling in football, soccer and track. Ray was an amazing athlete and continues to hold records to this day. He played in the Alumni Football Game a few years ago which made his oncologist a bit nervous but Ray was determined and so excited to play.
Ray was an avid softball player. He loved the sport and all that came with it. Ray played on many league teams and traveled all over to play in tournaments. Las Vegas was a favorite of Ray’s with his 808 Maui Team. There was a no sliding rule, but he slid. He never forgot that. He would even show up to his league games and play after having his three-hour chemo infusion.
Then along came corn hole. Ray picked up the sport quickly and it soon became an everyday thing around our house. This was his outlet, his distraction. He even joked about setting up boards in the hospital hallway during his recent hospital stay. That’s how much he loved his cornhole. Ray made so many friends through cornhole who soon became our cornhole family. He would come home after tournaments and share so many fun stories with me. “Ray Ray’s in the house!!” That’s what he would yell every time he arrived at league night or any other cornhole event that was happening. He made sure everyone knew he was there and became very well known all over the U.S. for his famous foot shot. Cornhole was everything to Ray.
Ray married his high school sweetheart Janelle Zampese on Sept. 23, 1995 and they would have celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary this year. Together they raised two beautiful daughters, Mackenzie Rae and Kylee Belle, who were the light of his life. He rarely missed a dance recital or school performance. He was very proud of his girls. Ray was a huge family man and loved family vacations. Bass Lake and Disneyland were his favorite places and he enjoyed long beach walks searching for sea glass.
Ray was a painting contractor by trade. He was extremely creative making amazing wood signs, etched glass, personal decals for friends and, of course, his cornhole boards. He took such pride in each set he made. If you had an idea, Ray could create it.
Ray was one of a kind and the most-loved person. He was a great husband, great father and great friend. He was such an inspiration and touched so many lives with his humor. Sharing his daily useless bull**** in hopes of giving everyone a good laugh—that was Ray.
He fought the hardest battle with the best attitude and always with a smile. You would never know he was battling cancer. Ray lived everyday like it was his last. “I want to be alive, but I don’t want to just be alive, I want to actually live”—Ray
We love you Ray and know we will see you again someday. I hope you and Lucy are playing ball just like old times. “Get Outta Here Cancer”.
A celebration of Ray’s life is being planned. Details are still being sorted out and will be announced soon. Thank you all for your continued love and support shown to Ray and our family these last six years.