In memoriam: Ray McInnis

Western Today staff

[Editor's note: This article is offered on behalf of Western Libraries. Ray McInnis’ official obituary can be found online here. ]

Raymond George McInnis passed away peacefully at Whatcom Hospice House on Feb. 25, 2016, after spending many months being cared for at his home. Ray was a beloved retired faculty member of Western Libraries at Western Washington University, and will be greatly missed by all of his friends and colleagues.

Ray was a librarian at Wilson Library from 1965 until he retired in 2001. During his 36 years at Western, he taught and published extensively. An avid scholar with a passion for both instruction and research, Ray wrote numerous articles, served as the editor of many reference volumes in a variety of disciplines, and taught not only library instruction courses, but also served as an adjunct professor of history.

Ray published his first book in 1967, and went on to write numerous texts related to academic research. He also gained a very rewarding Editorship for a ten-volume set of “concept dictionaries” in the humanities and social sciences for Greenwood Press.

After his retirement in 2001, Ray continued to be a frequent visitor to the library as he actively continued his scholarship.  He combined his interest in woodworking and his love of research to begin building a website which delves into the cultural history of woodworking.  The website is still in use today.  

During his last few years at the Libraries, Ray chose to spend the majority of his time working with students at the reference desk.  He was known for his unparalleled familiarity with the reference collection, and would go to great lengths to find an answer or a resource for a researcher.

Ray’s contributions to scholarship, to teaching and learning, and to Western Libraries were significant.  He will be remembered with great fondness and gratitude for his service to his students, to his friends and colleagues, and to Western.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016 - 12:00pm
Ray McInnis in 1978. Courtesy photo.

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