Childhood

Ray was born in Torreon, Mexico in December of 1965.  He stayed there only one month and then immigrated to the United States with his family.  Ray grew up as an only child in Downey, CA with his parents Reinaldo and Alicia Perez.  He grew up loving sports, especially baseball, and playing outside with his friends.  Ray knew from an early age that he wanted to be a police officer.  This may have been evident to others as well, as he always made his other friends be the bad guys when playing cops and robbers so he could be the police man.  He and his parents traveled as often as possible and made yearly trips to Mexico to visit family.  Ray attended 12 years of Catholic school and graduated from St. John Bosco in 1983.  From there, he attended California State University, Long Beach where he completed a bachelors degree in Criminal Justice. 

Family life

Ray married his high school sweetheart, Tammy, and they had one daughter, Madi. The family's life revolved around sports activities. He had Madi experience every sport imaginable, but his favorite also ended up being her favorite sport of softball. Pretty much every weekend, for the majority of Madi's childhood, was spent at the softball field. Ray helped out by coaching her teams and then transitioned into a sideline supporter. He never missed a game of hers until she moved away for college. Even then, Ray spent his weekends watching her college games over live stream and cheering her on like he was there. Ray seemed to be able to remember every detail of every game Madi ever played. He was like a computer that way. When Ray wasn’t watching softball, he often played on adult leagues as well.

Over the years, Ray’s family made trips to different parts of Mexico, Hawaii, and various cities across the U.S. In his free time, he enjoyed daily trips to the gym, hiking, playing and watching sports, and traveling. One of his bucket list goals was to visit each of the MLB stadiums, which he was able to visit 16. 

Ray was definitely known as the fun and silly Dad, often joking and messing around with kids and adults alike.

Career

Ray was hired as a cadet with Beverly Hills Police Department in 1987, while he was still college. In 1988, he officially became a police officer with the department. This was a dream come true for Ray, as he couldn’t picture himself doing anything else. Ray often talked about his experiences while working, with excitement in his voice, while others listened with a mixture or admiration and horror. He held many roles in the department including Field Training Officer, SWAT member, Special Tactics Unit, and Detective for the Intelligence Unit. As an officer, Ray was described as an easy-going guy who got along with everyone. He had an infectious smile that would light up the room during the darkest of times. Ray never felt sorry for himself or used his illness to get out of work. Ray would often talk about his daughter and her fiancé’s academic and athletic achievements to whoever would listen. He was described as a great partner and an even better friend. Ray retired from the force after almost 30 years of service.

Multiple Myeloma

Ray was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in 2005. He was in the late stages of the disease progression, but with his fighting attitude and determination he was able to participate in treatments to keep the cancer at bay. He was the bravest individual who kept an optimistic outlook for his life. No matter what he was told, he was always able to overcome the odds and ask what the next step was. Everyone who knew Ray was inspired by his strength and will to fight whatever came his way. Ray had two stem cell transplants, countless doses of chemo-therapy, radiation, and participated in a medication trial. Because of this tenacity, he was able to have 13 years of living life to the fullest. Ray participated in fundraising for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and was always willing to talk to someone who had recently been diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma to provide support and encouragement. He put on a smile every day and provided an example for everyone not to take life for granted.