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Memories & Candles

“I will never forget the wonderful gifts Mr. Sipola brought to my life by letting me sing in his Jr. Choaraleers at WHS Jr. High. It has impacted my...Read More »
1 of 11 | Posted by: CHERYL BENNETT - MANASSAS, VA

“My mother worked as a secretary at the jr high and I was in the Jr Choralers. Mr Sipola and Miss Lind directed plays that I participated in. I...Read More »
2 of 11 | Posted by: Shayn Perry - Bradenton, FL

“He made me the music teacher that I am today. I was his student at Wakefield Jr. High from 1962-1964. I will always remember being a member of ...Read More »
3 of 11 | Posted by: Kathleen E. Rayson - SARASOTA, FL

“Our entire family has fond memories of Ray and the fine work he did with the Junior Choraleers and Girls' Glee Club. He will be well-remembered. May...Read More »
4 of 11 | Posted by: Joseph Fabiano Family

“I have lasting memories of the theatricalshows that Mr. Sipola and Miss Lind produced at Wakefield High School. Thirty plus years later, I still...Read More »
5 of 11 | Posted by: Selene Fabiano

“A devoted, inspiring educator. A teacher and friend. Warmth, joy and music radiated from him and those whom he touched. My fondest school momories...Read More »
6 of 11 | Posted by: Canon Bob Reed

“I was a student of Mr. Sipola's back at Wakefield Jr. high in the late 60's. He was one of my all time favvorite teachers. Partly due to his...Read More »
7 of 11 | Posted by: Diane Goldstein Kontoff

“Ray was one of the best music directors I have ever worked with. He made sure everyone knew their solo or harmony line. I first knew Ray from the...Read More »
8 of 11 | Posted by: Tripp Grosvenor

“More than 30 years later I still have vivid memories of Junior Choraleers and Mr. Sipola. What he taught me about music has stayed with me--and I...Read More »
9 of 11 | Posted by: Robin Sullivan

“Ray was a talented director and actor; but, more than that, he was a good person who did not suffer fools gladly. We were always happy to be in his...Read More »
10 of 11 | Posted by: Theresa and Harold Bond

“Lorraine and I are members of the Colonial Chorus and we learned a lot from and enjoyed working with Ray from 1973-1981. We have MANY fond memories....Read More »
11 of 11 | Posted by: Paul J. McCarthy

Ray D. Sipola, Wakefield Music Educator for 28 years, died Monday morning, November 28, 2005 from complications from Alzheimer's disease at the Aberjona Nursing Center in Winchester.
Ray was born in South Range, MI September 6, 1921 son of the late Yalmar Sipola and Olive (Suuppi) Sipola. Ray was raised in South Range, MI was a former resident of Reading, Andover and Boston. He graduated from Michigan Technological University in 1943 with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering. He was stationed in Naples, Italy during World War II and discharged from the Army Air Corps as a First Lieutenant. Attended Boston University on the G.I Bill; earned a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Music. Classically trained pianist. Earned money for college by playing piano at Cape Cod resorts during the summer. Ray began teaching in Wakefield in 1951 as supervisor of music in nine elementary schools and director of the Girls' Glee Club at the high school. From 1954 to 1979, he was a junior high music instructor and choral director. He organized and conducted the Junior Choraleers, who performed at many civic activities, participated in Melrose Symphony Youth concerts and made guest appearances of Boston radio stations in addition to their in-school activities. From 1970 to 1980 he was the Director of the Wakefield Adult Education program. Perhaps best remembered by former students and their parents for the musical plays that he co-wrote, adapted and directed with his colleague Diane Lind in the 1960's and early 1970's. Wrote all of the music and lyrics for these productions. One of his most popular pieces, "It's Christmas All over the World, will be performed in December at 'Tis the the Season, the annual holiday concert presented by the WHS alumni group, ArtsLeaders/Concert Productions. He was very active in local theatre groups as a director and actor. A Music Director for more than a dozen musicals for Colonial Chorus Players of Reading. A member of Melrose Community Players, and Quannapowitt Players of Reading, where he served as Vice President and directed and appeared in many comedies and dramas. Love of travel took him to Europe many times and kept him on the lookout for new and exotic places to visit. Enthusiastic supporter of the plans to build a Performing Arts Center in Wakefield.
Ray was the brother of the late Clarence Sipola and Gladys Laurie. Uncle of Pamela and William Laurie. Ray leaves his long time friend, Diane Lind of Reading.