Remembering local Ray Shine

Ray Shine (credit: Debbie Lange’s Facebook page)

I received an email from a friend stating that longtime local  attorney Ray Shine — whom I knew, along with countless others — had passed away this past weekend. I will miss him.

I notified Don Rogers and Brian Hamilton at The Union last night, who thanked me for the head’s up, and decided to let the news percolate for a while until the word got around to more of Ray’s closest friends. Now the news is getting out on social media, and locals are remembering Ray.

“With a heavy heart and so saddened to find out Ray Shine passed,” as local Debbie Lange wrote on her Facebook page this morning. (This photo of Ray is from her Facebook page). “I have seen Ray recently as we talked about his health and his family, giving me updates of the girls as he told me he was retired but kept his license active to volunteer for community legal every Thursday.”

Wrote another: “A grand Grass Valley native son.”

I got to know Ray when we were on the high-school scholarship committee for the local Cal Berkeley alumni group; both of us were Cal graduates —and we discovered later, members of the Episcopal Church. I headed the scholarship committee, and Ray would come over to the house for the meetings.

I appreciated Ray’s wisdom and his passion for education and parenting.  He adored his daughters Molly and Sarah, and his wife Amy.

Ray graduated from Cal’s prestigious Boalt Hall Law School; he was admitted to the State Bar in 1973. He was a candidate for local Superior Court Judge as well; Tom Anderson won that race.

Ray worked in the Old Post Office building at 131 S. Auburn St. in downtown Grass Valley. He talked about it here. I often caught up with Ray when I saw him at the annual Memorial Day ceremony at Pioneer Park in Nevada City; we both were regulars.

Ray was president of the Friends of Nevada County Military, which sent support packages to solders deployed in combat zones.

In a 2014 article The Union reported: “Shine, whose practice has emphasized property and criminal law, is a partner in Shine Compton, APC. He began his career at the law firm of Larue and Francis, and he was president of the (Nevada County) Bar Association in 1978. Shine has also taught at Sierra College, served on the Nevada County Board of Education, the grand jury, and the Grass Valley Charter Revision Commission. He was the founding president of Nevada County United Way, and he has been active in many other community organizations.”

Ray would sometimes comment on this blog. Last fall I wrote about a walk that took place in downtown Grass Valley to show support for racial tolerance. The details are here.

Ray commented on the post: “The 5 o’clock walk was lovely. No violence, no damages. Just Nevada County clearly stating that we, like the GVPD, have his back.”

A longtime Republican, Ray had a keen sense of humor. As Debbie Lange, his good Democratic friend, wrote on Facebook: “I remember when the girls were little, Ray and I carried the Donation Day parade banner (the girls were between us), and Ray made me laugh as he said, ‘Okay Debbie, I will be on the right, and you will be on the left.”

Rest in Peace, Ray. Thanks for your contributions and inspiration as a community volunteer, legal professional and a loving dad. I understand a Memorial is planed for Friday at 2 p.m. at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Grass Valley. I will update this post when more information becomes available.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

3 thoughts on “Remembering local Ray Shine”

  1. Ray, you were a wonderful father, husband and friend. I learned a lot from you. I’m praying for God to comfort your loved ones and give them strength through this great loss. I remember sitting in church with you and your family. I’m so happy you knew God and now you are face to face with Him.

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