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Seneca Valley Remembers School Photographer Ray Thompson

District officials credit award-winning photographer with taking thousands of photos over 30 years.

At Monday’s school board meeting, officials took a moment to remember longtime school photographer Ray Thompson.

A fixture at Seneca Valley, including at numerous sporting events, Thompson, of Harmony, died from cancer on Jan. 11. He was 75.

Thompson was married, the father of five children and grandfather of two young children. He also took photos for various newspapers, including the Butler Eagle, News Weekly, the Cranberry Journal and the defunct Pittsburgh Press. According to his obituary on the website, Thompson won 30 Keystone Press and Golden Quill awards for photography throughout his career.

School board president Robert Hill said Thompson worked with the district for about 30 years and was responsible for thousands of the photos found on the Seneca Valley website.

“He will be sorely missed here,” he said.

District spokeswoman Linda Andreassi, who worked closely with the photographer, said Thompson was a fatherlike figure to her.

She called him a generous man who always had a smile on his face when he delivered photos to her office. She recalled how Thompson often got his subjects to laugh while he was taking their photos by telling them to say “Fuzzy Mustard.”  

“He would do anything for you, whether it was to lend you a hand, take a last-minute photo or pitch in on a favor," she said. "And he did it with a smile on his face and joy in his heart. I think I’m going to miss that most.”

Besides his family, Andreassi said Thompson’s pride and joy was a restored Rolls Royce. In his later years, he also loved to show off his Vespa scooter.

Viewings were held Saturday and Sunday at the . Funeral services were held Monday at in Zelienople.

Trina January 17, 2012 at 02:18 PM
What a wonderful man worked with him on numerous occasions. Was so sad to hear of his passing. He will be greatly missed.
Jessica Sinichak January 17, 2012 at 03:16 PM
Although I didn't know him well, Ray always had a smile for me. I'll miss seeing him at the various Seneca Valley events.
Jerry DiPaola January 17, 2012 at 04:54 PM
Ray was a wonderful man, with a wonderful family. I met Ray when I joined the now-defunct Butler County News in Zelienople in 1976. Ray was the newspaper's chief photographer. I was fresh out of college and Ray took me under his wing, introduced me to the key people in town (Ray knew everyone), had me for dinner at his home and helped me to understand what was important to the locals, from Fombell to Middlesex. He was as much of a fixture at Raider Stadium at Seneca Valley as the players and coaches. My deepest sympathies go out to his family. Jerry DiPaola Cranberry Township

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