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Ray Aspiri named grand marshal
Islander Ray Aspiri was named this year’s Strawberry Festival Grand Marshal by the Vashon-Maury Island Chamber of Commerce. His wife Edith will assist him in his duties — which include riding in a convertible during the festival grand parade and making appearances at other festival events.
The Aspiris moved to Vashon in 1965 and have been deeply involved in the community since then, report those who nominated Ray for the position.
Ray and Edith, who have six children, have given much to Island causes, in-
cluding Vashon Community Care,
the Vashon Community Scholarship Foundation and the St. John Vianney Scholarship Fund. Ray has also given time and support to the Boise Basque Museum and Boise Basque Club, of which he is a member. He’s proud of his Basque heritage and regularly takes trips to the region of northern Spain where his ancestors hail from.
Ray, 74, has been a successful entrepreneur for decades, starting and running several companies in Seattle.
He was surprised to hear he had been named grand marshal. None of his friends and neighbors told him ahead of time that they were nominating him.
Ray and Edith love the Island they’ve called home for four decades, and Ray is proud to take on a leadership role at this year’s Strawberry Festival.
“It’s the uniqueness of the community,” he said. “You give me a problem anywhere in the world and I can probably find five experts on Vashon to solve it. There are people with all kinds of unique passions and talents for getting things done.”
Ray and Edith’s contributions to the community are lasting and much appreciated, said Susan Tuller, Vashon Community Care’s administrator.
“So many community services and programs that we enjoy today are here because of their caring, support and seemingly boundless energy,” she said.