Website Manager

News Detail


Sep, 2021

Recognizing A Servant Leader

Ray was warm, charismatic, and inquisitive; a storyteller with sharp wit, ruthless sarcasm, and an irrepressible sense of fun. He filled every room. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of the world at his fingertips. To sit at dinner with him was to listen to him casually synthesize the D-Day invasion or the causes of the Peloponnesian War. Ray was a fierce and tireless advocate for the rights of working people. He devoted most of his career to the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco, and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM), where he rose to the rank of Director of Research and Education. His creativity and brilliance as theorist, strategist, and teacher helped shape a generation of union stewards, organizers, negotiators, and leaders at BCTGM and other labor unions. He contributed significantly to campaigns that improved the dignity, rights, and well-being of workers in unions across the globe. Asked what he did at work, Ray described himself as a "troublemaker for corporations."

He had a boundless zest for life and was deeply involved in his community. He wore many volunteer hats: among them Commissioner of the Takoma Park Babe Ruth Baseball League and developed the community's first competitive travel fastpitch softball program; long-time active Takoma Rec Committee member; Community Advisory Board member for the local water utility.

In 2009, Ray received Takoma Park's annual Azalea Award honoring the town's most outstanding activists in recognition of his fight for equitable distribution of resources to underserved County schools. He played baseball with the Ponce de Leon over-50 ("geezer") league. Ray was a devoted and very involved husband and father. He taught his kids to bike, throw, boogie board, and curse like sailors. Along with Miriam, he instilled in them a great curiosity about the world and a commitment to social justice. To Josh he gave his gift of bringing complex subjects to life with patience, vigor, and insight; to Anna, his love of art-a world of museums and paintings they shared with wonder. No one who knew him will forget how it felt to be at the center of his light.

The son of Raymond Francis and Zayda Caballero Scannell, Ray graduated from Huntington HS in 1969, Boston College in 1973, and received his masters from Cornell's SILR in 1980.

Ray is survived by his wife Miriam Szapiro, son Raymond Joshua Scannell (Josh), and daughter Anna Zaida Szapiro; sisters Zayda Stewart and Astrid Long; and brother Herb Scannell. There will be a wake at M.A. Connell Funeral Home, 934 New York Avenue, Huntington Station, NY 11746, Friday, August 13, from 4:00 to 7:00 pm. Visitors must have proof of vaccination. A celebration of his life is planned for the DC area this fall. In lieu of flowers we encourage a donation in Ray's name; charitable contributions can be made to Ray's Ball Shed at the following website: Ray's Ball Shed

Published by New York Times from Aug. 9 to Aug. 10, 2021.
Copyright © 2024 TPSS Youth Baseball and Softball Leagues  |  Privacy Statement |  Terms Of Use |  License Agreement |  Children's Privacy Policy  Login