Groton - Ray H. 'Chimp' Sanborn, USN (Ret), 73, of 186 Virgo Dr., in Groton, passed away peacefully in his sleep on May 9, 2010, at the Fairview in Groton.
He was born on Jan. 25, 1937, in Stamford, the son of the late Henry and Lillian Lapham Sanborn.
Ray was married to the former Lorraine Friedman on Aug. 11, 1984, in Groton.
A Navy veteran of both the Korean and Vietnam Wars, he retired in 1979, after a Naval career of 26 years.
Chimp had served on the Nautilus for three separate tours totaling 14 years. That was more than half the ship's active duty life. He served under six commanding officers. NAAI records show Chimp first reporting aboard on Dec. 1, 1958, under Anderson. Ray Sanborn must have known Nautilus better than anyone else; and he probably knew her better than any other sailor knew their boats.
His memberships include the Nautilus Alumni, Branch 20 Fleet Reserve, American Legion, Sub Vets, RAFA and the Freedom Riders Motorcycle Club.
Chimp's greatest passion was riding his Harley. He traveled with Lorraine from one end of Rt 1 in Maine to Rt. 1 in Key West, Fla. He loved riding with his son, Michael, as he had to have a "Harley just like Mikes". One of his trips took him to Missouri to watch his son, Joe play baseball in college.
Riding his Harley to Florida was a great adventure for him to see his family and friends. He was the Founding chapter president of Chapter A Gold Wing Riders; and was a patch holder member of the Freedom Riders. His stress therapy was waxing and cleaning his Harley and Lorraine's sidecar.
He loved being Poppy to two of his grandchildren, Jessica R. Clapper and Tyler E. Miller both of Groton.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by his children, Michael J. Sanborn and his wife, Linda, of Preston, Joseph M. and Donna of New London, Sean P. and his partner, Donn, of Cos Cob, Cheryl A. Ashton and her husband, Gary, of Georgia, Virginia T. Sanborn, the mother of his children, of East Lyme, Scott Rednour and his wife, Lisa, of Ledyard, Lori L. Miller and her husband, Edward, of Groton; eight grandchildren; and several great-grandchildren. He also leaves his cousins, Gerry and Jessie, Dana and Elda, Wayne and Jimmy and Diane Sanborn and their children, and his dog, LP, who was his constant companion.
We want to thank the nurses at Lawrence & Memorial Hospital in the CCU, 4.2, and the staff at Fairview in Groton for making the last weeks of his life comfortable; and for being so compassionate to his family.
His family will be greeting relatives and friends from 12 to 1 p.m. on Saturday at the Byles-Groton Memorial Home, 310 Thames St., Groton with military honors to follow at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be directed to "Ahn's Memorial Fund" and mail it to Freedom Riders USA, P.O. Box 93, Quaker Hill, CT 06375 or go to any Peoples Bank and donate to "Ahn's Memorial Fund." 25 percent of the proceeds from the 2010 Fund will go to Ahn's Memorial Scholarship and 75 percent will go to the Veterans Transitional Home in New London.