Raymond Franklin Mills was born on June 20, 1960, in Kingston, Jamaica, to the late Iris Madge Brown and David Mills. Ray attended primary school in St. Ann’s Bay, Jamaica. A bright student, at the age of ten, Ray received a full scholarship to attend Ferncourt High School, a private school located in the town of Claremont in the Parish of St. Ann. However, Ray and his brother Dennis, emigrated to the United States on April 20, 1971, to join their mother and stepfather who lived in The Bronx, New York.
Ray completed his secondary public-school education in the boroughs of The Bronx and Queens, New York. After High School, he briefly attended Queensborough Community College. During his college years, Ray worked off and on in the food service industry employed as a waiter, bus boy and as an apprentice cook. It is during this period that his passion for food preparation was ignited.
In 1989, Ray along with his girlfriend, moved to San Francisco, California.
There he attended the California Culinary Academy (CCA) where he received a Certificate of Culinary Arts in 1990. During his career he was employed at numerous organizations and institutions including Lincoln Center in New York City, Alpha Delta Pi, UC Berkeley, Pacific Marine Yacht, University of San Francisco with Bon Appetit, The Huntington Hotel, The Hotel Rex, Chez Papa/ Chez Maman, Montclair Bistro in Oakland, The Lake Chalet, The Hamlin School for Girls, Epicurean Group and Google.
Ray enjoyed learning and trying new cuisine. In 1998, he won an award for the 20th A.P.C. Culinary Arts Competition, “Best of Show” Professional Division at the American Culinary Federation, San Francisco Chapter.
After a brief marriage and years of dating, in 2010 he met the love of his life, Lynn Bertzyk. For over 12 years they shared lots of love, laughter, and Ray’s wonderful cooking. They travelled together to Georgia, Florida, and Minnesota to spend time with family and friends.
For the past five years, Ray put up a good fight battling cancer. He kept his sense of humor and continued cooking until he became too weak. A lot of time was spent watching cooking shows, NASA and listening to reggae music.
He leaves to celebrate his life and memory, his loving partner Lynn Bertzyk, his brother Dennis A. Robinson (Sharon), his sister Ruth Mills, his nieces Jenna A. Robinson and Naomi I. H. Robinson, nephews Tarik O. Barber and David Wint.