COL (R) Ray Renola ’40 is the oldest living graduate of West Point. There are 54,132 graduates of the academy still among us. Ray, at 104, is their elder statesman.
Ray Renola’s rise to West Point was a classic American tale. He was one of eight kids raised by Italian immigrant parents in a two-family in the West End of Providence, blocks from the Cranston Street Armory.
His dad, Antonio, laid city sidewalks, and then after hours changed out of his laborer clothes to run a tavern he opened off Atwells Avenue.
With that same work ethic, Ray performed well enough at Classical High to get into Brown.
But halfway through, in 1936, he left for West Point. That meant restarting four years of college, but Ray wanted to join its legendary “Long Gray Line.” Read more.