The Central Coast Friends Meeting celebrates the life of our Friend, Ray Jansen who was a long time member of our meeting. He died at the age of 93 at Twin Cities Community Hospital in Templeton in December 2011.
Raymond Kenneth Jansen was born in 1918 in Oak Creek, Minnesota and spent his youth as part of a farming family in the Midwest. He and those in the community in which he lived were members of the Dutch Reformed Church and both church and community played an important role in Ray’s crisis of conscience during World War II. After much soul-searching and prayer, Ray joined the military as a chaplain’s assistant and served in southern Italy during the war.
Ray came home to attend the University of Southern California on the GI bill, receiving both his baccalaureate degree and then a Master’s in Education. He married Lynn Rees, who had emigrated from Wales in 1951 and they settled in the Los Angeles area, where Ray began his teaching career working with severely handicapped children. During this time, they began a family, welcoming two daughters and a son, and they attended Whittier First Friends Church.
In 1972, the Jansens, with their two youngest children, immigrated to Wales. Ray taught several years in special education programs there before retiring. During the fourteen years they spent in Wales, Ray was a member at Cardiff Meeting.
Ray and his family left Wales in 1986 and settled in Atascadero, where Ray attended the Atascadero Worship Group. When the Atascadero Worship Group joined with the San Luis Obispo Worship Group and we became a preparative meeting under the care of Santa Cruz, he became a member of Central Coast Friends Meeting.
Ray had many interests and was active in his community in many ways, was an early member of Beyond War, and volunteered with the Senior Nutrition program, delivering Meals on Wheels regularly, from when he was 70 until shortly before his 90th birthday. He was a philosopher, interested in discourse about ideas; he was a man of kindness and caring for others. He was a man of words, convictions and principles who tried to make the world a better place for others.
He was active as long as he was able in the Peace and Social Concerns Committee. He dreamed of a return to the united people of faith he had experienced as a young man and never stopped putting forth those ideas and dreams in letters to the editor, and to be shared with religious congregations.
We remember Ray for his joyous and loving childlike spirit which shown forth among us.
Approved by Central Coast Friends Meeting March 11, 2012