Raymond J. Slomski, family man, attorney, philanthropist, avid athlete, died Dec. 26, 2019, in a tragic auto collision. Ray was 63 years old.
Ray personified the American Dream. He grew up as the only child of hardworking and adoring parents on Chicago’s South Side. His parents focused their efforts on Ray’s academic success and Ray did not disappoint. He was a promising student and athlete who graduated from DePaul University in Chicago with a degree in English. He immediately went on to graduate from the Northwestern University School of Law. Ray dedicated the next 37 years of his life as a compassionate and successful trial lawyer.
In 1982, prior to moving to Phoenix, Ariz., Ray was recruited to the law firm of Jennings, Strouss and Salmon. A few years later he was offered an opportunity with former firm Harrison and Lerch. After working as a defense attorney, Ray chose instead to open his own firm specializing in catastrophic injury. Though it would be a risky venture for most, Ray grew his practice into one of the premier plaintiffs’ medical malpractice firms in the state of Arizona, winning several high-profile cases.
Ray believed in giving back to the community. He was an ardent supporter and active board member of the Phoenix Art Museum, as well as a supporter and past board member of All Saints Episcopal Day School. He also gave generously to many other charities, as well as his alma mater, Northwestern University.
A sports enthusiast, Ray grew up playing and watching ice hockey and never lost his love for the sport, coaching his son’s team for several years. He was also able to share this passion with his father, “Big Ray,” when they attended the Chicago Blackhawks’ 2015 Stanley Cup victory game. Ray also loved the Ohio State University football team, the alma mater of his wife, daughter and son.
Ray lived his life all-out, all the time. He was an avid bicyclist, jogger, skate skier, fly-fisherman and bird hunter. Ray’s ultimate form of “relaxation” was mountain biking in the morning, a weight lifting session in the afternoon and fly fishing at dusk.
Ray loved vacationing in Sun Valley over the summer months and at Christmas, enjoying the many traditions he and his family created there over the last 22 years. On Dec. 26, 2019, while driving to Sun Valley with the family’s loyal hunting dog, Rufus, Ray was involved in a fatal automobile collision.
Survivors include his wife of 36 years, Pam; daughter, Whitney—a film production manager in Los Angeles; son, Bucky—an associate attorney in Ray’s firm; and his father, Raymond J. Slomski Sr. of Phoenix. Ray’s mother, Jaqueline, preceded him in death.
A celebration of life will be held at the Phoenix Art Museum on Saturday, Feb. 1, from 3-5 p.m. In celebration of Raymond J. Slomski’s life, memorial contributions may be made to the Phoenix Art Museum at 1625 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85004. Please RSVP your attendance to InMemoryofRJS@gmail.com.
There will be a celebration of life held in Sun Valley, Idaho, this summer. Details to come.