Raymond “Ray” William Cordts, 69, beloved husband of Pamela Jane Cordts, passed away unexpectedly on March 20, 2022.
Ray was born in Englewood, N.J. and raised in Ridgefield, N.J., where he met his high school sweetheart, and love of his life, Pam. It was in the high school band where they shared their love of music and kindled their long-term relationship and future marriage.
Ray began his banking career in 1969, in Bergen County, and relocated in 1984 to join the National Bank of Sussex County. In 1999, he joined Lakeland Bank, where he continued his banking career as part of that merger, most recently serving as a Senior Vice President. Ray was by no means an ordinary banker; known affectionately as “Mr. Sussex County,” Ray was a leader in community involvement and the champion of numerous worthy causes. Ray could light up any room; his infectious personality and charm made anyone fall in love with him. His smile made you feel as if you were the only person in the room. He was truly a man you wanted to be around and a man that so many called a friend. If you had a banking need, he was the “go-to” guy!
As an accomplished musician, he studied under the first seat clarinetist of the Metropolitan Opera. Ray was ultimately selected to play clarinet for New Jersey’s distinguished All State Band. In the following years, he continued his musical career by playing in a German polka band traveling to Germany, playing regularly at the Schuetzen Park, North Bergen, N.J., the music for many a wedding, and even started his own very successful DJ company.
It was never a surprise for Ray to make a cameo appearance at a local business or community function. Ray’s community roots run deep. He served as president of the Sussex County Chamber of Commerce in 1993 and as director/secretary-treasurer of Sussex Rural Electric Cooperative. His service to the non-profit infrastructure includes serving as a past chairman and trustee of the SCARC Foundation and a trustee of the Newton Medical Center Foundation. Ray has been recognized as the SCARC Distinguished Citizen, BSA Patriot’s Path Distinguished Citizen and their Winthrop Rockefeller Award, Hospice Honors Awardee, and many others. For Ray it was never about the individual recognition, but rather about providing the most financial support possible for his charitable partners. The Sussex County Golf Classic is a testament to Ray’s leadership, charisma and community mindedness with its support of local charities over the years. It was also a time when he brought the NBSC/Lakeland Team together for a full day of community volunteerism.
Family was everything to Ray. His marriage to Pam, his high school sweetheart, was a true love story. She was his world. He adored his children Jessie and Ray, and his granddaughters were his life’s accomplishment. Known as Opa to the little people in his life, he would do anything for them. He was not only a father to his own children, but a beloved father figure to his nieces and nephews. Anyone who knew him loved him. Raymond is survived by his wife, Pamela Cordts, of Augusta, N.J.; his daughter, Jessica and her husband Mitchel Krause; his son, Ray and his wife Amanda; and three grandchildren Emilia, Annabel, and Zoey. Ray was predeceased by his parents Richard and Emmi Cordts and his brother Richard (Dick) Cordts Jr. He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews whom he dearly loved.
Viewing was held at the Good Shepherd RC Church on March 24 from and March 25. A service followed on March 25.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested support of several of the charities that he was so much involved in. These are Newton Medical Center Foundation, the SCARC Foundation and the Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice.
A Celebration of Ray’s Life is planned for May 31 at Perona Farms in Sparta.