Marlene Frances Ray was born in Los Angeles, April 2, 1933 to Jenny and George Zito. She was a second generation Italian American as her grandparents came to America during to the great European immigration of the late 1800’s. Born and raised in Los Angeles where she met her husband, Bill (William) Edwin Ray. Bill was of Irish, and not so prone to share, English decedents who also immigrated to America.
Married in 1951 Marlene and Bill began their large family; Michele (1952), William (Bill (1953), Mark (1956), Michael (1958) and Maria (1963). The young family settled in Northridge in 1962. Their dream home was surrounded by horse farms and orange groves in the early days of the San Fernando Valley.
Marlene had a full-time job raising an active family of FIVE children all who were involved in sports and school activities she was always on the go. It is believed the phrase ‘soccer mom’ can be traced to Marlene and her friends’ during the early growth of Southern California.
Marlene is survived by her sister Beverly Langdon Lee and children; Michele (Ron) Williams, Mark Ray, Michael (Linda) Ray and Maria (Kenny) Neu; 12 grandchildren – Josh Readman, Jerod Ray, Jackie Ray, Nick Ray, Dustin Ray, Phillip Ray, Erin Ray, Edwin (Julie) Carty, Jessica Mitchell, Vanessa Neu Sanchez, Buck Neu, Jake Neu; 9 great-grandchildren – Marley Readman, Mason Readman, Samantha Mitchell, Madelyn Mitchell, James Mitchell, Sequoia Ray, Bhodi Ray, Mela Ray and Cash Sanchez. Marlene is pre-deceased by her son, Bill, and parents George and Jenny Zito.