SALT LAKE CITY — Knight of Columbus Rayfel (Ray) Bachiller and his wife, Lisa, were honored as the 2012 Knights of Columbus Family of the Year at the Utah Knights of Columbus State Convention at the Marriott Hotel May 5.
The couple moved to Utah from North Carolina in 2001 when Ray was assigned as deputy commander of the Joint Task Force for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. They are members of Saint Thomas More Parish.
"Ray joined the Knights of Columbus in 2002 and has served in most of the offices and participated in stewardship on many different levels," said Ray Lopez, Knight of Columbus State Deputy. "His record as a Knight is impressive. He initially joined Saint John the Baptist Council 12181, and earned a Double Star Award for membership during his time as Grand Knight. After joining St. Thomas More Assembly 2577, he shared his vast military expertise to assist in formations and ceremonies. He is a conscientious individual and is the ideal image of a Knight.
"Lisa’s contributions to the parish have earned her high acclaim by students and clergy," said Lopez.
At St. Thomas More Parish, Lisa has served as a religious education teacher, in RCIA and she started a Bible study class.
"We are both lectors and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion and help wherever we are needed," said Ray.
"Ray and Lisa also have respect for their Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint neighbors," said Lopez. "Lisa has taken three one-week treks with her Mormon neighbors as they retrace their ancestors’ path in coming to Utah. Ray and Lisa are considered ambassadors to their neighbors."
Ray was ready to retire from the U.S. Marine Corps when he was ordered to Utah.
"I had to postpone my retirement because of my experience in previous Olympics," he said. "We decided to retire in Salt Lake City. It was a culture shock. It was so clean, healthy, friendly and peaceful. Marines aren’t usually in places like that."
Ray retired as a Marine Corps colonel after 32 years and Lisa retired as a lieutenant colonel after 20 years of active duty.
"The first thing we did after retirement was go to Athens in 2004 because I was hired to run the Olympics," said Ray. "Lisa was my chief of logistics."
Ray also worked for the Torino Olympics in 2006.
Because of their military backgrounds, the couple went to Bagdad as consultants from 2005 to 2006, and Lisa returned to Bagdad from 2007 to 2008. "We wanted to do more for our country," Ray said. "Lisa worked for the Ministry of the Interior of Iraq and I was the senior advisor to the minister of defense."
The couple’s willingness to serve their church and country comes from their strong Catholic families, said Ray.
"I grew up in Washington, D.C., because my father was a chef in the Navy and had the opportunity to bake a birthday cake for Vice President Harry Truman," said Ray. "When President Roosevelt died, President Truman asked for that same chef to be the White House chef. My dad stayed on for President Eisenhower and then retired."
Lisa was born in Spain. Her father was in the Air Force and they lived all over the world.
The couple met in 1989 while they were stationed in Washington, D.C. and were married in 1994 at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Lisa’s alma mater. Ray graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1970.
"We are great teammates and best friends," said Lisa. "We respect each other’s opinions even when we differ. We have different interests, but have a lot in common spiritually."