My wife Deena (Baram) is from Natick. We have been married over forty years and for most of that time have lived in Acton, Massachusetts, where Deena works at Idylwilde Farm. Our children are both quite grown. Michael now lives in Minnesota, while Elizabeth and her husband Andrew live here in Massachusetts. Andrew received a second Masters degree, this one in Education, at Smith, while Liz worked on the Admissions staff there. Along with a host of family and friends, we had the best time of our lives at Liz and Andrew's September, 2003 wedding. My sister Marie took another group of pictures, which include nephew Gabriel's fantastic rock sculptures made in honor of the wedding. Now they have a remarkable son named Sam and a daughter Annie, who is too wonderful for words.
Often I am confused with my identical twin brother Ray Ferrara. This causes problems as people periodically complain that I ignored them or did not even say hello. Apologies to all who experience this; sometimes I am absent-minded, but the more frequent explanation is that it was my brother who missed the social cue. Please note that he has a moustache and I do not.
We are quite close to our 3 sisters, Marie, Nicole, and Genevieve, who designed these pages. We grew up in Chicago, in St. Ita's Parish on the North Side, about two miles north of Wrigley Field. Here is a picture taken in front our house at 5407 N. Glenwood Ave. My talented sister Gen designed a collage of our years there as a Christmas gift to all of us. Gen took wonderful care of our Mom as she aged. Mom died on February 24, 2007 just a few days shy of her 92nd birthday. All of us were with her as she died in her bed at home. At the funeral service in beautiful Old St. Mary's church, my brother-in-law Fred Hamer gave this eulogy and I followed with this eulogy, a colloborative effort by all five of us. Just a few months later, our Dad died on June 12, 2007. All of us were there for his funeral, at which Marie gave this eulogy. We are now the oldest generation.
The '50s and early '60s were good times to be growing up in Chicago. We were blessed with a number of great friends, like the fellow who lived around the corner, Mike Long, the youngest of nine children. Mike now resides half way around the globe - in New Zealand, but we stay in touch. These past few summers, there has been a nice gathering of the group of us who inhabited the corner of Bryn Mawr and Broadway during our adolescent Chicago years. This led to a wonderful 50th Grade School Reunion in June, 2009. Deja vu all over again.
For almost twenty years, Deena and I were host parents to several wonderful MIT international students, starting with the remarkable Mawuli Tse '90 (masters in ''92) from Ghana. Then came Mike Sy '97 from the Philipines, where he represented his country in the International Math Olympiad. We were thrilled when Mike and his wife Ellice came back to Cambridge when Mike earned his MBA at Sloan School. After Mike, we've been hosts to more fantastic young people from Ghana. Charles Boatin '01 seems still to know everybody at MIT even though he now works in Silicon Valley. Curtis Vanderpuije '05, who is now back working in Ghana, after earning a Masters in the MIT-Singapore program. Ato Ulzen-Appiah '06 recently finished graduate school at Stanford. More recently, we have been host family to Michelle Wilson '09, Sadik Antwi-Boampong '09, and William Kyei-Manu '10. Here is a picture of Michelle, Ato, Deena, me, and Sadik at an Ethiopian Restuarant in Cambridge.