Ray Johnson


Raymond E. Johnson, 76, passed away in his sleep at home on Thursday, June 19th. He was a native of Rutland, VT, and long-time resident of Concord. Ray was an advertising executive and founder of Product Directions. Professionally he was best known for his "Put a Tiger in your Tank" campaign which was adjudged "the most effective advertising campaign in history" by Advertising Age.

Raymond was a graduate of Brown University (Magna Cum Laude) and Columbia Business School, where he received a Valedictory Award as a Samuel Bronfman Fellow. He was also an officer in the U.S. Navy.

Ray was an active member of the Concord Players, The Single Life and the Senior Ski and Sports clubs. A consummate dancer and conversationalist, Ray loved a good party and hosted many at the family home on Annursnac Hill and later on Commerford Road. Both homes benefited from Ray's landscape design expertise, as did the area youths he employed over 4 decades to bring his visions to reality. He enjoyed music, drama, the outdoors and he extensively traveled the world. Ray was an avid skier and wildlife enthusiast.

He is survived by his sons, Gregory K. of Concord, Jay B. of Los Angeles, CA, granddaughter, Susannah and her mother, Linda Duggan-Johnson of Groton, brother Lyman and his wife Susan of Rutland, VT, nieces Cynthia and Holly of Vermont, long-time friend Peggy Elliott of Lincoln and former wife Gail Johnson-Beust of Santa Barbara, CA.

Ray was a long-time, active volunteer for the Council on Aging and, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Friends of the Council on Aging at 105 Everett St, Concord, MA 01742.

Visiting hours will be on Saturday, June 28th from 2pm-5pm at the Charles Dee Funeral Home, 27 Bedford St in Concord, followed by a reception at Ray's house. A memorial service will also be held in Rutland, Vermont, before Ray is laid to rest with his parents Norman and Katherine and his sister, Carlene Johnson (Miss USA 1956).