Selfless Mason and Rotarian dies aged 93

Richard and Mollie Rayer
Richard and Mollie Rayer

A well-known Banbury Rotarian and Mason who helped raise thousands of pounds for cancer support has died aged 93.

Richard Wellesley Rayer died peacefully on March 14 at Southerndown Care Home in Chipping Norton. Mr Rayer’s daughter Sue Anker described her father as “a dearly loved husband, father, grandfather and greatgrandfather”.

Mr Rayer served his country throughout the Second World War as a gunner, joining up at the age of 18.

He married Mollie, his wife of 72 years, in 1942 at St Mary’s Church in Banbury. Mr Rayer’s working life was as a seedsman and crop inspector with Twyford Seeds (later to become Bibbys).

He was a prominent member of the Banbury community, being a Justice of the Peace, former member of Banbury Rotary Club and a highly respected Freemason.

Mr Rayer was a member of Banbury Borough and Banbury Chestnuts Bowling Clubs and played for the county.

He helped raise thousands of pounds for Macmillan Cancer Support with the Banbury Macmillan committee as well as raising money for Masonic charities. Mrs Anker said: “My father was a very talented painter and gardener and loved nothing more than pottering in the garden, taking long walks with his dog and entertaining his grandchildren.”

Mr and Mrs Rayer received a congratulatory card from Her Majesty the Queen on their Platinum Wedding Anniversary in April 2012.

Mrs Anker said: “The family wish to offer grateful thanks to all at Southerndown Care Home who made dad’s last months so happy.”

Mr Rayer is survived by his wife, now 91, his daughter Sue, his grandchildren Catherine, Helen and David and great grandchildren Benjamin, Dominic, Olivia, Lucy and Joseph.

Mr Rayer’s funeral is today (Thursday) at Banbury Crematorium at 1pm followed by refreshments at the Freemasons Hall in Marlborough Road.