It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of long term club member, Ray Pfau.  Ray’s obituary beautifully recalls all that Ray brought to the world including being the genesis for the Repair Cafe movement in Bolton and sharing his passion with so many across the country.   

Raymond (Ray) Pfau of Bolton, Massachusetts, passed away on November 28, 2023. He died peacefully with the love of his family surrounding him.

Ray is survived by his wife, Catherine Pfau; daughters Polly Pfau (Matt Johnson), Jennifer Pfau, and Erika Anderson (Erik Anderson); stepsons, Joe and Steve Bernotas (Julie Bernotas); former wife Peg Pfau; brother Richard Pfau; grandchildren Jaleen, Kendall, Kayla, Brayden, Oliver, Tyler, and Mason.

As a longtime resident of Bolton, he considered himself “almost a local”. Helping friends and neighbors was a big part of his life. Whether it was coaching soccer for his daughters, being a judge at the Bolton Fair, volunteering in many capacities, or enjoying card games with his Bolton friends, he loved Bolton and being involved in the community.

Ray grew up in Centerport, New York, and received a bachelor’s degree from MIT in math, where he enjoyed rowing, his fraternity (Chi Phi), and the lifelong friends he made there. He also received a master’s degree in education from Harvard University. He volunteered with the Peace Corps in the Philippines, taught middle school math in Concord Massachusetts, and worked at Digital Equipment Corporation, and Oracle Corporation. 

Ray was a generous, gentle, loving man who enriched the lives of all those he met. He was a wonderful family man, friend, and helper to all. Ray made the world a better place by:

• His dedicated involvement with the Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley where he helped get funding for a school for girls in Afghanistan. He made several trips sponsored by Rotary to Guatemala to provide proper stoves and clean water to residents.
• Ray’s vegetable garden was a joyful place, where he spent many hours. He volunteered at Nicewicz Family Farm in Bolton and Growing Places in Concord to learn better methods of farming and to help local farmers.
• He had a great interest in sustainability and was part of Bolton Local, a group that focuses on taking care of the earth.
• Ray was a member of the founding Board for Nashoba Neighbors, a nonprofit that helps older adults remain at home.
• Most of all, he loved to fix things and never went anywhere without his tool kit. He could not pass up an opportunity to fix something that needed fixing. He started a Repair Café in Bolton, a place where volunteers fix things for others for free. Due to the success there, he helped start more than 15 other Repair Cafés in Massachusetts and inspired his grandson to start one in Pennsylvania.

When he wasn’t helping others, Ray could be seen running, hiking, playing tennis, kayaking, biking, and dancing, where he met his wife Catherine.

His family and friends were the highlight of his life. He cared deeply for each one of them.

No flowers, please. If you would like to do something in his memory, you can donate to the following organizations:

The Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley
Nashoba Rotary Charitable Endowment
PO Box 322, Stow MA

Nashoba Neighbors
PO Box 123
Bolton MA, 01740

It would make him happy if you started composting or fixing something instead of throwing it away. You will be surprised at some of the simple things you can do for yourself and the earth!

The family is planning a Celebration of Life in early 2024.