LCDR Gerald (Gerry) Eugene Raynes

June 27, 1946 - August 28, 2022

06/27/1946 - 08/28/2022

Past Services

Memorial
Saturday October 08, 2022
10:00 am
Princess Anne Memorial Park
1110 N. Great Neck Rd.
Virginia Beach, VA 23454
757-481-1097 | Directions
Additional Information:

Memorial Service

On August 28, 2022, we lost a father, a grandfather, a fighter pilot, a businessman, a war-planner, a photographer, a skydiver, a peerless storyteller, and an all-around hell-of-a-guy. LCDR Gerald (Gerry) Eugene Raynes, known to all by his callsign “G-Man”, has passed into the eternal, where, we hope, the sky is crossed by contrails and booms with jet noise.
Gerry was born in Harrisonburg, Virginia on June 27, 1946, making him one of the very first of the Baby Boom. He grew up in Muskogee, Oklahoma raised by a single mother (the late Roberta Raynes), long before single motherhood was a thing. He graduated Central High School in 1964 to enroll as a Navy ROTC at the University of Oklahoma. There he pledged Sigma Alpha Epsilon, endured the interregnum between Bud Wilkinson and Barry Switzer and met and then married the prettiest Kappa Kappa Gamma on campus, Sherry Ellwood.
After college, it was on to active duty and his true calling, flying sweet-ass jets past the bounds of all good sense. First stationed at Miramar after earning his wings, he flew with VF-121 (the Pacemakers), VF-124 (the Gunfighters) and VF-126 (the Bandits). Perfectly decent squadron names, but we all know the Navy was capable of better. In those Southern California years, Gerry’s biggest fan, son Scott, was born and the G-Man name was won. “G” for the gravity he lived to defy.
While still in Miramar, G-Man joined his next squadron, the World Famous Pukin’ Dogs (VF143, but with a name like that, the numbers just don’t matter), and took the cockpit of the greatest machine ever built by man, the mighty F-14, in the earliest days of its deployment. When not testing the limits of aerial combat, G-Man conquered the local gameshow circuit, winning valuable prizes on Hollywood Squares and retiring as a five-time champion of High Rollers, the latter hosted by a pre-Jeopardy Alex Trebek, who wore the drool of the G-Toddler in his stage-rushing celebration of G-Man’s final win.
The gameshow bounty stayed in California for only a short time because the Pukin’ Dogs, along with several other like-minded squadrons, transferred from the Pacific to the Atlantic in the mid-1970s, unleashing scores of fighter pilots on the sleepy little tourist hamlet of Virginia Beach. It would never be the same.
Moving into a neighborhood off Great Neck Road built expressly for and by the incoming pilots and their families, G-Man settled into a Tomcat pilot’s domesticity—careening through the sky from Oceana by day and Coors and shingle-ball by evening. While the exact rules of play for shingle-ball are now lost to history, the “no urchins on the court” ground rule was invoked frequently enough against giggling eight-year-olds that it remains in the collective memory. Weekends that were not passed on the waves were spent in long-horizon flight training on the Loch Ness Monster with the G-Boy and the other neighborhood urchins.
Except, that is, when it was time for deployment. Assigned primarily to the USS Eisenhower, G-Man went on six month (and, in one instance, nine month) cruises, bringing the F-14 and great camaraderie to the farthest reaches. As those months wore on, the “We like Ike” buttons the families wore became “We like Ike HOME!” But G-Man always returned with trinkets and tales, some of which were even appropriate for children.
In the Oceana days, G-Man further flew with the Grim Reapers (VF-101) and the Ghostriders (VF-142); great names and remarkable squadrons in their own right, but the G-Boy always liked saying that Dad was a Pukin’ Dog.
A brief (but not brief enough) assignment to instructing duty took G-Man to Meridian, Mississippi in the early 1980’s. As a rule, the Raynes men speak little of their time in land-locked exile, but Gerry discovered motorcycling (“that damned bike” in his mother-in-law’s estimation) in those years. The bike and family returned to Virginia Beach in 1985; assigned to Little Creek and TACRON-21, G-Man kept the second-coolest cadre of Defense Department employees supplied with tools for disembowelment. While the SEALs have proven to be true and enduring friends in their own quiet way, G-Man always preferred causing the sound of freedom instead of merely hearing it from a desk up on Shore Drive.
In quick succession, G-Man was drawing retirement pay, packing the G-Teen off to college and adjusting his marital status. Rather than drive a winged bus, G-Man set off on his own civilian path. In a suddenly post-Cold War world, he travelled widely, promoting various international business ideas, a few of which may not have been preposterous. In the early 1990’s, he settled into the franchise life, opening a Glamour Shots at Lynnhaven Mall, pushing makeup, boas and Portfolio-12 packages (with the occasional poster-sized) while the F-14’s roared overhead.
During this time, he met Paula Carrozza, becoming a husband again and helping to raise Paula’s son, Ryan. Paula took over the Glamour side of the family business while G-Man worked at the Joint Warfighting Center, mapping out invasion plans of, well, that’s probably classified. It was a job that suited him; the boardgame Risk was a blood sport in the Raynes house. Between that, the F-14s, the SEALs, the aspiring models, and all the travel, the man had a knack for cool employment.
In later years, he became Grandpa G-Man to the G-Son’s Texas family, guiding the next generation of urchins across the beach, into the waves and through the Busch Gardens lines. Alas, Busch Gardens has yet to respond to our suggestion that the Griffon be re-Christened the Pukin’ Dog.
Gerry passed away at his beloved home, leaving his son, Scott Raynes and daughter-in-law, Joanna Walker Raynes; his grandchildren, Sarah Grace Raynes, Caroline Elizabeth Raynes and William Andrew Raynes, all of Houston, Texas; his two former (but always fond) wives, Sherry Ellwood Raynes Feagans of Houston, Texas and Paula Carrozza of The Villages, Florida and Paula’s son, Ryan Honick of Chicago, Illinois. Natural causes were his end, but he left this world with a wholly unnatural amount of happy memories.
The funeral services will be held at Princess Anne Memorial on October 8, 2022 at 10:00am. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Shriner’s Children’s Hospitals in Gerry’s name. Condolences may be left for the family below.

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CDR John D. Rickards SC, USN Ret.
1 month ago

Gerry and I were classmates in the NROTC Unit at the University of Oklahoma. While we were not close as he was in the fraternity crowd and I was not, I remember him well. Fair Winds and Following Seas.

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Tim Stanley
1 month ago

I’m tried posting a pix of commission day at ou with Gerry and the four other grads who would all fly for the navy. Here we the three OU amigos aboard USS Coontz DLG 9 in Hilo hawaii July 1965. We always had fun.

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Tim Stanley
1 month ago

Gerry was a best friend throughout college at OU and during the summers with our midshipman training. Double trouble we were known as always on the alert for tom foolery! You will be missed my friend you will be missed.
tim stanley ou 68

Paula Carrozza
1 month ago

Scott and family, a legend moves on leaving us all with unimaginable memories but with a huge hole in our hearts Your dad taught me so much, showed me the world, and provided me with more laughter and tales that would keep me rolling on the floor. He is so proud of you paying this last tribute via this EPIC Obituary. I know he loves it because it perfectly depicts the man he is and his accomplishments. I´ve lost my best friend but know he´s always here with all of us. Love, Paula

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John Reiche
1 month ago

Fair winds and flowing seas to a bigger than life Puking Dog warrior that I was proud to serve with.

CAPT Eric Benson USN (ret)
2 months ago

G-man was a cherished friend, ally and mentor.
Many adventures, even more laughs and lasting memories between the warrior clan. Fair winds and following seas shipmate

Cheryl J Skinner Tri-State Military Museum
2 months ago

May the love of God surround you and your family during this difficult time,

 May you come to know that the love of God is with you always,

May your memories of LCDR Gerald Eugene Raynes, give you peace, comfort and strength…

Rest now in the arms of our Lord your mission on earth is complete.

I thank you for your service to our Country and my Freedom. You will not be forgotten.

My thoughts

and prayers to the family of ….

US Navy Veteran, LCDR Gerald Eugene Raynes, is “A True American Hero” God Bless†

† Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13 †