Ray DeJong died in his home in Albany, California, on his 92nd birthday.
He was born in South Dakota and raised on a cattle ranch until moving with his family at age 12 to an Enumclaw dairy farm. As a teenager, he milked cows, worked in the forests and played football. During World War II he enlisted in the Navy Air Corp program and completed his Navy pre-flight training at Moraga’s St. Mary’s College where he met his future wife, Ada Jean MacKellar. After serving two and one-half years in the Navy, he enrolled at the University of California at Berkeley in 1947 and played football on the 1949 and 1950 Rose Bowl teams. From 1950 to 1988, he taught physical education at South San Francisco High School. During the summers, he ran a Red Cross swim program. He coached football and wrestling during the majority of his 38-year teaching career, won many football championships and Coach of the Year awards. He was inducted into the Enumclaw High Athletic Hall of Fame, the Washington High School Sports Hall of Fame, Mateao County Sports Hall of Fame and the California Coaches Hall of Fame.
He is survived by children Jim and June DeJong, daughter-in-law Jame Gerughty and two grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Ada Jean.
A memorial service and lunch reception will take place at 11 a.m. Sunday, June 3, at the South San Francisco Elks Lodge, 920 Stonegate Drive.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the South San Francisco Athletics Booster Club at South San Francisco High School, attention Nancy Hoffer, 400 B St., South San Francisco, California 94080.