In 1927, a milestone in film history occurred. Hollywood’s very first “talkie” was released – The Jazz Singer, starring Al Jolson. The addition of spoken dialogue and music into films was a huge success, and the silent movie business quickly began diminishing. Not only were silent movie stars affected, but so were everyday people like Ray de Steiger.
Ray was a piano player in theatres that showed silent movies. As sound film grew in popularity, there was eventually no need for his piano talents. After searching for a new career, Ray found success in the electrical supply business with his son, Ray Jr.
Over seventy-seven years later, Ray Electric operates four locations throughout southeastern Michigan, and has become one of the top electrical distributors in the country.
In Memory of Ray de Steiger, Jr. 1927 – 2016
Ray Jr. joined his father Ray Sr. at Ray Electric in 1950 after graduating from Michigan State University. Realizing the importance of people in the business, Ray spent his career developing a well-trained, experienced staff of associates. His charismatic leadership and vision set the company on a path of growth to four locations serving the southeastern Michigan community. His strong belief in family values encouraged his children and grandchildren to carry on the business into its 4th generation.
In 1997, Ray was honored with the National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the industry. He also served as a member of the National Lighting Bureau in Washington, D.C. In 2012, Ray and his wife, Virginia (Ginny), were the Grand Marshals in the Rochester (MI) Area Christmas Parade in honor of over 50 years of community involvement. Ray Jr. left a tremendous impact on Ray Electric, the electrical industry, and the community at large. We will greatly miss Ray, but his legacy will live on.
Peter and David de Steiger with sisters Lisa Perry and Michelle Edmonds
Ray de Steiger, Chairman; with Peter de Steiger, CEO; David de Steiger, President and Wes Jones, COO