Ray Driscoll – an Army veteran who refused to let his life be derailed by a stroke at 46, instead becoming an inspiration to fellow survivors and a proud spokesman for the American Stroke Association – died on Friday. He was 67.
Driscoll’s impact on the stroke community begins with the countless lives he touched since his stroke in 1994. He did this in many ways, from one-on-one connections through a support group he ran to the masses via his 100-plus speaking engagements on behalf of the American Stroke Association. He spread his indomitable spirit across the country and around the globe, including Ireland, Australia, Bangkok, Tahiti and multiple trips to the Caribbean.
Driscoll and his wife, Gina, also were passionate fundraisers, generating more than $100,000 for the organization since 2001. His family completed 15 marathons and half-marathons with the American Stroke Association’s Train to End Stroke and Tedy’s Team programs. Driscoll walked the Disney Marathon, Boston Marathon and Kona (Hawaii) Marathon.
In 2012, the family’s commitment was encapsulated with the creation of the Ray & Gina Driscoll Hearts and Minds Award, an annual honor presented to a volunteer whose commitment to the American Stroke Association has made a lasting impact on the organization’s mission and culture.
“On behalf of everyone at the American Stroke Association, our staff, volunteers, survivors and caregivers, we extend our deepest sympathy to the entire Driscoll family and our heartfelt gratitude for the many events, races, meetings and volunteer engagements Ray and his family have taken part in support of the fight against stroke,” the organization said in a statement on the ASA-Massachusetts website.
Raymond F. Driscoll was born on May 21, 1947, in Boston. After graduating high school, he enrolled in the U.S. Army in 1966, serving honorably until his discharge in 1995. He served during the Vietnam War and was involved in logistics in the Pentagon during Desert Storm. He also served many years in the Army Reserves. He was also a member of a Veterans of Foreign Wars post and an Elks Club.
A 1981 graduate of Boston State College, Driscoll worked for United Parcel Service for 24 years.
Driscoll was a lifelong athlete and sports fan. He enjoyed playing racquetball and squash, and coaching youth hockey, as well as supporting the New England Patriots.
Driscoll is survived by Gina, his wife of 44 years; son Daniel P. Driscoll of Santa Cruz, California; daughter Colleen P. Hallisey and her husband Shawn of Woburn, Massachusetts; and two grandchildren, Logan and Parker Hallisey.
A funeral is scheduled for Wednesday in Melrose, Massachusetts.