Raymond A. Reyes Dies After Heart Attack

Beloved teacher and mentor to be celebrated Jan. 5

January 2, 2008

By Mimi Ko Cruz

Raymond A. Reyes, a retired lecturer of Chicana and Chicano studies, died Dec. 27, following heart surgery. He was 66.

“We are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Professor Ray Reyes, a long-time lecturer in the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies,” said Thomas P. Klammer, dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. “Ray was liked and highly respected by his colleagues, and he was a beloved mentor and advisor to countless students. He was a very special member of our faculty.”

Reyes joined the university in 1997 and retired in 2007. He taught courses on ancient Mexican culture, the history of the Chicano, the Chicano family, the immigrant and the Chicano, and the cultural differences in Mexico and the Southwest.

Students viewed Reyes as “a wise and friendly counselor who understood the challenges they faced,” Klammer said. “He was particularly influential as a faculty advisor to the student organization MEChA.”

Reyes was a 1959 graduate of Cathedral High School. He earned a bachelor's degree in history from Cal State Los Angeles in 1963, a master's degree in education from California Lutheran College in 1973 and a master's degree in Latin American studies from Cal State Los Angeles.

Before joining CSUF, Reyes helped establish the first Chicano studies course at Los Angeles Trade Tech College, and taught over the years at Cathedral High School, Roosevelt Adult Education School in Boyle Heights, the California Youth Authority Fred C. Nelles School, Ventura College, Glendale College and Saddleback College. In addition, he held an administrative position at East Los Angeles College and served as head of the Glendale Community College Extended Opportunity Program and Services for more than a decade.

“We are going to miss Ray,” said Dagoberto Fuentes, professor and chair of CSUF’s Chicano and Chicana Studies. “He was a fantastic educator who attracted a very large student following to his classes.”

Reyes is survived by his wife, Flora, three children, Madeline, Ann and Anthony, and five grandchildren.

A celebration of his life will be held Saturday, Jan. 5, at the Diamond Bar Center, Grand View Ballroom, 1600 S. Grand Ave., Diamond Bar, from 7 to 11 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Cathedral High School Scholarship Fund, 1253 Bishops Road, Los Angeles, 90012-1496.

Raymond Reyes
Raymond A. Reyes
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