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Ray Colliton, friend to ME community, passes on

Ray was the founder of the Co-Cure project and was involved in the ME Society of America website.

Longtime ME patient Raymond Colliton died yesterday of respiratory issues (bronchitis/ emphysema/ pneumonia). He was 68. Ray was the founder of the Co-Cure project and also was involved in the ME Society of America website.

March 10, 1947 – January 29, 2016

Raymond F. Colliton
Raymond F. Colliton

“There is no possession more valuable than a good and faithful friend.” ~ Socrates

“If the machine of government is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then I say, break the law.” ~Henry David Thoreau

It is with great sorrow and sadness that I must announce the death of my close friend and our colleague, Raymond F. Colliton, known to his friends and family as a brilliant, witty, erudite, kind and giving person, an entertaining conversationalist, and devoted to his family.

Ray died peacefully in hospice care on January 29, 2016, with his loving wife, Bernice Melsky, at his side.

He was 68 years old.

Ray is known in the ME community as the owner and manager of the Co-Cure project, an email list serve and (now-archived) website that kept the community of researchers and patients informed on the science and politics of ME for decades.

Ray also did all of the webmaster work on my “ME Society of America” website. He spent much time, energy, and money keeping the ME community informed as well as helping patients, although he had not been involved in Co-cure for the last two years due to illness & retirement.

He kept a very low online / internet profile, staying out of the limelight and working behind the scenes.

Ray had a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy; he shared the philosopher’s ongoing questioning of the status quo, and he flouted anything that stood in the way of helping his friends and family, knowing that law and morality were often on opposite sides.

He understood the power structures of the world, of law, business, and politics. He was classically educated, studied Latin, knew politics, history, economics, and science, and I thoroughly enjoyed his knowledge on so many things and his entertaining conversation for many years.

Ray had a sporting, clever sense of humor and often took hilarious pot shots at my (many) flaws, which had me in stitches laughing every time we spoke. Ray, when young, had planned to become a Catholic priest; after obtaining a degree in philosophy, he gave that up to study finance, and he was a financial whiz.

Prior to becoming ill with ME in 1988, he had a career in systems administration for a Fortune 500 company, then went on to develop his own small business consulting firm.

He had extensive experience in pension plan and employee benefits plan design and management. He was the managing owner of the Co-Cure Project, a large international information distribution e-mail list and Web site, both of which were devoted to science and advocacy issues surrounding ME.

Ray went into the hospital in Bensalem, PA, with bronchitis in late December, complicating his emphysema. Hospitalization made him worse, he became weaker, too weak to swallow, he developed pneumonia & had to have oxygen and a ventilator in the ICU.

After several weeks of fighting to get better in ICU, Ray and Bernice made the decision to move him to the hospice section of the hospital on January 28.

My heart goes out to his caring wife, Bernice Melsky, his brother Edward, sisters Margie and Maggie, daughter Carrie and many other family members who loved him. My heart is very heavy because he was one of my best friends EVER, another close friend gone too soon.

May his adoring family find peace in wonderful memories, and may those of us with ME be grateful for the massive amount of work he did to help patients as he worked behind the spolight. He will live in the hearts of those of us who knew him. Ray, you are missed.

This post was approved by his brother, Edward V. Colliton, Ph.D. Written by Maryann Spurgin, Ph.D., long time friend of the deceased and founder of the ME Society of America, now archived:

Editor’s Note: The Co-Cure listserv is still being moderated and taking subscriptions.

FEATURE PHOTO: a shot in the park…. ( explored ) by Andy Rothwell


Written by Maryann Spurgin

Maryann Spurgin

Maryann Spurgin Ph.D. is founder of the ME Society of America (now archived). She lives in Shreveport, Louisiana and suffers from ME.

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  1. So sorry for the loss of a friend, Maryann. Ray would have loved this heartfelt tribute, even though he shunned the limelight. The ME community owes him a debt of gratitude. I hope this post keeps his selfless work fresh in our memories.

  2. I too am very sad to read this news. I was friends with Ray on the internet for many years though we never met in real life. He was among the first important ME/CFS activists on the net and his work with Co-Cure had great impact. I will miss you Ray.

  3. Ray did some lovely things for me over the years despite his suffering. I felt terrible hearing the news of his having died. There are some people who are so vivid a presence. He is one; and it is very difficult to accept this news.

    I always got the feeling from Ray that Bernice was his soulmate and I am so sad for her loss, with at least the years of having him as part of his life. Thanks for his picture. It matched my image of him. We shall all be diminished at this loss.

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