What people have written about Ray ...
Every time I met Ray Jutkins I learned something. Every time I read his work I learned something. He was an accidental teacher to hundreds of us in direct marketing. I quoted him in my marketing columns, quoted him in both my books, thanked him in the Acknowledgments, recommended him to my clients, helped him when I could, loved his stories and advice in "The Works Of." He was a warm and caring gentleman who shared his vast talents with everyone he met--and in my mind, at least, he will always be close by, eager to help when I have trouble with a lead or an offer or a response card. God bless you, Ray. You live on in the memories of every creative.
We will all miss him.
I could call him at any time and he would always give his good counsel.
I just got the message about Ray. I am stunned and saddened. He was bigger than life itself and now he is infinite. I have a few stories that I will conjure up and send along. For now, please if you are in touch with Nancy, please give her our remembrance of Ray, from Donald, Julie, Brennen and Taylor Kent.
I am not really a sentimental guy. Ray knew that. Ray and I shared thoughts and emails and he was - in this DM world or marketing world a God to me.
But that being said - that I am not sentimental - I am hoisting a glass of red to his honour and more than just a tear in my eye as I write.
God bless Ray.
I don't have stories of Ray, since I didn't know him personally. I have read one of his books, listened to one of his tapes, and read his newsletter faithfully though. And, when, a year or so ago, I contacted Ray via e-mail with a marketing question, he actually responded! Well, he's a busy guy. Didn't expect him to respond to me. But he not only responded, but was eager to hear how things turned out as well. . . that may not sound like much but in this busy day and age when everyone is running and seem to have less and less time for others, it was a real pleasure that he took time out for me.
So to his wife and family, I would like to express my condolences. I'm confident that my loss is minuscule compared to yours, but even still, Ray will be missed.
I am going to miss him. A lot.
He was a great guy, with infectious enthusiasm and an exceptional talent.
The direct marketing industry has lost one of its true individuals...
We emailed regularly and shared our articles in our respective ezines. I feel like I have lost a brother.
Love always, pal. Wow 'em up there as I know you will...
Your friend from the UK,
What I appreciate most about Ray is his infectious enthusiasm. I remember being interviewed by him at a DMA conference for his new Internet radio program. And this was before most of us even realized that you could run radio through the Internet. Ray never says never. He's always on to the next thing. We will all miss him.
Ruth P. Stevens
When I was a direct marketing rookie, I got recruited to play left field on the softball team of Nelson/Panullo/Jutkins Direct Marketing. I shagged their opponents’ fly balls and they made a kid from the east coast feel like part of a community. I remember hearing that Lester Wunderman called NPJ the “Woodstock” of direct marketing. I’m not sure the label totally fit, but I do know that Ray Jutkins and his gang were the coolest direct marketers in LA – and the nicest. Thank you, Ray, for the example you set.
I am so sorry to hear this news. His notes to me were always thoughtful and kind. Even when sometimes he disagreed he was never disagreeable. It may sound odd to you but it was a joy and a privilege to have him out there in the audience. It helped give meaning to the work. So anything I gave him was nothing to what he gave me. I hope his passing was peaceful and I hope you are holding up as well as possible.
I met Ray many years ago and just adored his enthusiasm.He was really "one of a kind". And, in this cookie cutter world, it was so refreshing to meet Ray, doing his own thing, his own way.
When we were in Stockholm speaking at the Nordic Days...Ray came roaring in on his motorcycle and blew the audience away. His energy filled the room! We had so much fun there.
After that, he interviewed me on his show at the DMA convention and we had breakfast at the DMA's "to catch up" always talking about his amazing family. A while back he let me know his group was riding into New York City, and I invited them to come and visit me at our offices there. He called and said they couldn't make it into the city, and I was so disappointed.
When I couldn't make it to the wake, I e-mailed him and he called, and he sounded like himself. I didn't know he was so ill, and he never mentioned why he was moving to California. I thought he'd kicked the cancer. I thought he could do anything!
I wish I could have been there. I wish I could have said goodby to one of direct marketing's finest. His enthusiasm lit up a room, and so I guess he's doing that now ....and I'll miss him very much.
Lois K. Geller, President
It snowed like crazy here in Wisconsin on January 6th, 2005. I now understand why. On that very day, we lost a friend, colleague and true direct response genius, “Rocket” Ray Jutkins.
Ray and I met several years ago for the first time face-to-face and we quickly became close friends. He was passionate about all things in life, but particularly passionate about his family, direct response marketing and riding his Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
The last time we broke bread together in Milwaukee he was more excited than usual, as he was in town to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of Harley-Davidson and the party was huge, even by his standards.
Ray loved to tell stories, educate the world and share with anyone who was smart enough to listen the life lessons learned here on earth.
Grant A. Johnson
My wife and I remember Ray as an upbeat, energetic, motivating man who always had time for you, no matter what. Ray was all about life. He was one of a few individuals that was a great entertainer both on and off the podium. You would attend one of his seminars, and always feel good upon exit. He motivated all the people he touched.
I had the good fortunate of working with Ray at several direct marketing and advertising shows. My only requirement for speaking at shows where Ray was also presenting, was that I didn't have to do my presentation at the same time. He really knew how to draw crowds. I would see Ray's seminars as often as I could, and always found his information fresh and fun. He understood the art of presenting.
Ray will be missed by many of us. He was a true inspiration and leader in our industry.
Ray was a fine man, a brilliant direct marketer and a dear friend ... not to mention a barrel of fun! He will, indeed, be missed by all. I will treasure my memories of him.
On Thursday, January 6th, Ray Jutkins finally lost his long battle with Leukemia. While it often seemed like Ray was winning that battle, especially at the "Live Wake" he held for all his friends, it was just one thing that his personal power and strength could not overcome.
If you read any of his "Ray on the Road" articles, I know you would agree that they were often more that just event recaps. Ray put his own mark on them, and you always felt like you were seeing the "inside" of the event of person he wrote about. Not in an "expose" but in a way that showed us the best of that person or place. And you always knew that Ray was the Real Deal, and rode every mile of whatever road trip he wrote about. Best of all, his words epitomized the less-is-more philosophy - only Ray could write a road trip with no pictures needed - he got us to imagine the ride....
We hope to run a tribute soon. We will be looking for the best photos to tell his story, or at least a small part of it, and for someone to write it. If you have anything you'd like to add, please send it along.
I will truly miss Ray. He was thrilled to be a part of the magazine, and I always knew that it wouldn't be the same place without him. He brought so much to our lives. When I attended his "Live Wake" at Ray and Nancy's home near Yuma, AZ, I was honored and humbled to see so many people from Ray's long life, step up and tell such funny and heartfelt stories about how he had touched them, and taught them, and made their lives by far the richer for it.
Next time you're on that long, quiet ride, and you touch that spirit that only a rider can touch, give Ray a little wave. I'm sure he'll be out there.
Words can't express the true depth of my feelings for Ray. He was a mentor and more importantly such a dear sweet man. I am trying to remember when I first met Ray, and I am sure it goes all the way back to the 80's when I was active in the WFMA - Western Fulfillment Management Association. I was a VP of Programs and probably had him as a speaker for our group. We used to meet at this rather tacky restaurant in the Los Feliz area of LA. Up near the Griffith Park Observatory. I just remember they served the best cheese bread!
It is funny how sometimes the silliest small details are remembered, while the seemingly more important ones fade away. I am glad that Ray and I had the chance to get closer and work together those few months after his first bout with the illness. I hadn't realized how sick he had been when he agreed to help me out with the Xandria Collection/Lawrence Research Group. I know he appreciated the change of pace in working for that kind of company! He was a real trooper when he probably should have been resting up. But as you know so well, that wasn't Ray's style.
Ray's style. How can anyone describe it? He was a true one of a kind. I have always admired his self confidence and ability to just be himself regardless of what anyone else might think. I loved the southwestern aspect as well as his biker persona. Somehow they both fit the complex person he was.
I truly believe that our loved ones are still around -- if only in the memories we have of them to comfort us when we most need it. I know my life was made better by having Ray in it and I will miss him so much.
I was so saddened to hear of Ray's passing. He was truly one of the most wonderful and original people I have ever known. I learned so much from him and his style was amazing!
I will be making a donation this week.
He will live in our hearts forever.
My heartfelt condolences on the passing of a great fellow marketer. Although I never met him, I certainly enjoyed his UNIQUE perspective in "The Works of Marketing with Ray".
We'll never forget the time you had dressed up "or should I say down" in your Harley outfit and were all set to roar onto the Conference Center stage in Ottawa to make a presentation to a Canada Post sales meeting when a hotel security guy came around the corner and did a double take with you sitting on a borrowed bike with stick-on tattoos, beard etc. "What the hell are you guys doing here??????????"
Anyhow Ottawa's fire folks agreed over the phone to let you roar in and onto the stage for 3 minutes of engine running time and do your presentation to hilarious applause with everyone glued to their seats all the time you were onstage.
Ray you were a great friend of Canada, to Canada Post, the direct marketing community and to me and many others you touched during your many visits. We'll all miss you online, by phone or in person at DMA, CMA and other shows.
Thank you for all you did to educate thousands of people during Ray's "Magic Marketing Moments".
Rest in peace, friend!!
From Paul Lacey and all your friends in Canada
I just read of Ray's passing in the DM Journal and wanted to send a note to say I'm sorry and that I had a short but very pleasant interaction with Ray on May 3rd, 2001.
I was just starting out as the North American Marketing Manager for Centralnic and Ray interviewed me at the Ad Tech show in the L-Soft Booth at Los Angeles. It was a great experience and my only regret is that I never got a copy of the interview.
But Ray was a very nice man and he did some great work. I was very pleased to have had that short time with him and I won't ever forget him. He was really cool. Please give my regards to his family.
For the past 15 years my firm, IDMC has organized and led Trade Missions to Asia, Europe, Mexico, Canada and South America. Ray was our biggest fan and supporter. He was always a cheerful encourager!
His life had no shortage of fun. There are hundreds of direct marketers across the country like me. People who benefited, were touched and enjoyed Ray.
Do you have a favorite Ray Jutkins story?
If so, please send it along to and I'll make it part of this website.
With fond memories of Ray and with deep respect for his family.