Raymond Macdonald Alden, Jr. died peacefully at home in Santa Rosa, CA on March 18, 2023. Seemingly impervious to infirmities of age, Raymond continued, even into his 100th year, to spend time at the family cabin at Fallen Leaf Lake, usually working on the steep hillsides building rock walls and planting shrubs and trees. A lifetime learner, he led a very active life of gardening, woodworking, church activities, writing, and enjoying music with his friends and family until only a few days before his death. He was one hundred and one years old.

Raymond “helped build” his family’s cabin at 475 Fallen Leaf Lake Road in 1929, when he was seven years old, sleeping in a tent platform and helping his mother, brothers and one hired carpenter put the two room cabin together. As a teenager he worked for the Fallen Leaf Lake Lodge and spent many days roaming through the mountains surrounding the lake. He maintained an active interest in and presence at the cabin his entire life. He also was very active in the early days of the reorganization of the Lake Community, serving as President of the Fallen Leaf Lake Homeowners Association and offering usually wise counsel to any who sought it.

Born in Palo Alto California on November 17, 1921, Raymond graduated from Stanford with a degree in engineering in 1944. He then served as a communications officer and electrical engineer in the Navy during and after the World War, serving in the Pacific and in China. After the war, he enjoyed a long and successful career in the telephone industry, first as Chief Engineer with Hawaiian Telephone Co. where he and his wife raised their children, and then as Executive Vice President with United Telephone, now known as Sprint Corporation (now part of T-Mobile). When he retired to Santa Rosa in 1983, he was President and Vice Chairman of the Board.

Raymond was predeceased by his wife of 69 years, Sara Wills Alden, and is survived by his three children, David, Merritt, and John, seven grandchildren and nine great grandchildren as well as a host of nieces and nephews.

Although an engineer by education and trade, Raymond came from a long line of ministers, teachers, and writers. His father, Raymond Macdonald Alden Sr., was Chair of the English Department at Stanford University, and is best remembered today for his published children’s stories, most notably the Christmas story Why the Chimes Rang, which remained in illustrated print for over five decades, is still available in reprints through Amazon, and has been widely performed as a theater production. Raymond’s grandmother, Isabella Macdonald Alden, under the pen name Pansy, was a best selling author of young adult books at the turn of the 20th Century, outselling even Louisa May Alcott in the year 1900. Following in the family tradition, Raymond published a two volume autobiography and at the age of 99, a book of personal spiritual philosophy: Exploring the God Idea: In Search of a Pragmatic Religious Philosophy, also available through Amazon.

His family and friends will always remember him for his resilience after losing everything in the 2017 Tubbs fire, but primarily for his kindness, wisdom, and generosity. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, and will be deeply missed by all who knew him. A memorial service will take place at 11:00 on May 27 at Church of the Roses in Santa Rosa. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the charity of your choice in Raymond’s memory.