SMT, PCB Electronics Industry News

In Memory of Jim D. Raby, PE

Jun 20, 2017

Jim D. Raby, PE.

Jim D. Raby, PE.

Jim D. Raby, PE, died peacefully on Friday, June 16, 2017 at approximately 6:30 a.m. at home. Born on August 10, 1934 in the town of Jeff, Alabama, Raby was 82 years old. He graduated from Monrovia High School in 1952 and briefly attended Andrew Jackson Business School in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1954, he joined the U.S. Navy and served his country honorably as a Seabee and as a Communications Technician.

Raby married the love of his life, Mary Ellen (Mitchell), on March 13, 1959. Jim and Ellen recently celebrated their 58th wedding anniversary. Jim and Ellen celebrated the birth of their son, David, in December 1959. David has spent many years at Jim’s side and is diligently carrying on the mission his Dad set before him.

Following his discharge from the service, Raby began work in Huntsville for the Army Ballistics Missile Agency (ABMA) as an electronic technician. There, he had the distinction of working with the former German Rocket Team, including Dr. Werner Von Braun, during the infancy of the U.S. Space Program. In 1960, ABMA was transformed into the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Raby joined the new agency as a Charter Member. He worked on almost every phase of the Pegasus, Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and Skylab programs.

Raby's contributions included the development of specifications and standards for electronic manufacturing. He established schools across the country for soldering and related technologies, and performed lead activities in the fabrication of electronics for the Saturn and Apollo programs. Raby moved to various contractor facilities (as a NASA employee) throughout the U.S. to provide NASA guidance on manufacturing methods and techniques as well as providing Quality Assurance functions. He had the last word on flight readiness of electronic and electrical installations, and in troubleshooting these systems when problems arose. The Moon landing during the summer of 1969 was the climax of this great era in Raby's life.

Raby left NASA in 1975 to work for the U.S. Navy at China Lake, California as Head of Soldering Technology Branch. While at China Lake, he developed the Soldering Standardization Program which standardized requirements DoD-wide and the Solder Training and Certification Program. He also started the Electronic Manufacturing and Production Facility (EMPF).

In 1984, Raby left the Navy to start Soldering Technology International, Inc. (more recently known as STI Electronics or STI). STI remained a family business until his recent retirement. Raby’s life focus was to support the electronics manufacturing industry and to do all he could to make sure that the country he so loved, was defended. STI is and will always be an advocate for the electronics industry and support its customers through the products and services the company offers.

Of all of Raby’s achievements, he is most proud of his family – wife Ellen, son David, daughter-in-law Sheila, and beloved granddaughter Ashley, and he is and forever more will be grateful for his relationship with Jesus.

Although Jim’s passing will leave a huge void in each of our lives, his legacy will live on through his son, David and all those that he poured so much love and attention into.  His love for family, friends, colleagues and country will remain in our hearts and memories for years to come. 

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the following:

  • Jim D. Raby/STI Scholarship Fund. Checks should be made payable to Calhoun Foundation and mailed to: Calhoun Foundation, Calhoun Community College; P. O. Box 2216, Decatur, AL 35609-2216. Please include a cover letter with the check or donation stating the check is for the Jim D. Raby/STI Scholarship Fund.
  • The Gideon’s International; P.O. Box 2091, Madison, AL 35758 in memory of Jim D. Raby.

  • St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital; P. O. Box 50, Memphis, TN 38101.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research; P. O. Box 5014, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5014. Donations also can be made online in memory of Jim at the following link:

Since 1982, STI Electronics, Inc. (STI) has been the premier full service organization for training, consulting, laboratory analysis, prototyping, and small-to-medium volume contract PCB assembly in the electronics industry. STI also produces a complete line of solder training kits and training support products. For more information, visit

Nov 16, 2017 -

STI Participates in Manufacturing Day

Nov 13, 2017 -

STI Recognizes Diana Bradford’s 20-Year Anniversary

Nov 08, 2017 -

STI Announces Mel Scott’s Retirement

Oct 31, 2017 -

STI Electronics Supports Local Students with the Jim D. Raby Scholarship

Aug 29, 2017 -

STI Recognizes Ann Duncan’s 20-Year Anniversary

Aug 14, 2017 -

STI Electronics to Exhibit at SMTA International

Aug 01, 2017 -

Leadership Huntsville/Madison County Selects Diana Bradford for Management Academy

Jul 19, 2017 -

STI Acquires Fischerscope X-ray XDAL 237

Jun 08, 2017 -

STI Recognizes Michelle Morring’s 10-Year Anniversary

May 15, 2017 -

STI Electronics to Showcase Specialized Contract Manufacturing Services at the 2017FLEX Conference

215 more news from STI Electronics »

Nov 21, 2017 -

Optimized inspection system operation with vVision 2.4

Nov 20, 2017 -

Count On Tools Inc. Receives 2017 Industry of the Year Award

Nov 20, 2017 -

Cogiscan and MIRTEC announce partnership for Industry 4.0

Nov 20, 2017 -

Libra Industries’ Robert Brandt Elevated to IEEE Senior Member

Nov 17, 2017 -

Altus on the Road to Digital Factory of the Future

Nov 17, 2017 -

MicroCare Wins Prestigious Global Technology Award at Productronica 2017

Nov 17, 2017 -

Mycronic and Aegis renew partnership – FactoryLogix software to be embedded with MY700

Nov 16, 2017 -

Europlacer Unveils its New Atom Platform.

Nov 16, 2017 -

Libra Industries installs another 3D post reflow AOI system at its Dallas facility

Nov 16, 2017 -

ZESTRON to Exhibit at SMTA Silicon Valley

See electronics manufacturing industry news »

In Memory of Jim D. Raby, PE news release has been viewed 467 times

 Reflow System

SMT Equipment Service