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Ray Of Light

Ray Leggiero was a great friend and work colleague of mine. Ray would stop by my cube every other day early in the morning to talk, joke, and commiserate for a few minutes about a variety of subjects. Ray was one of only two regular commenters on this ridiculous blog. Ray often challenged my views and beliefs and made me think twice about what the hell I was saying. Ray was a Yankee fan and I’m a Red Sox fan. Ray was a Republican and I am a pseudo-Democrat. Ray was passionate about all aspects of software development and so am I.

After not hearing from, or seeing the ever-smiling Ray, trucking around the office for a week, I walked over to his cube to find out why. His cubie mate told me that Ray was sick and wouldn’t be back for awhile, so I called his house. His wife, Pat, came right out and shocked me with “Ray has cancer“. She said that he was too tired and sick to come to the phone.

A week later, I learned that Ray was gravely ill and in the intensive care unit of a local hospital. The same day we heard this stunning news, a couple of other work friends and I went to the hospital to see Ray during lunch break. We were floored and deeply disheartened when we saw the state he was in. We were so rattled and shaken by what we had seen, that instead of going back to work, we went to a bar and guzzled a few beers to calm our nerves. Ray died the next morning.

The suddenness of it all was incredibly jolting and earth shattering to many people, especially Pat and his three young boys: Anthony, Matthew, and Brandon. In the span of only one month, gentle Ray went from being a vibrant, positive, conscientious, helpful person to a very sick individual engulfed by cancer. I, and scores of other people, will deeply miss Ray’s luminescent presence in our lives.

So long my dear, dear friend.

  1. rick
    August 7, 2010 at 9:29 am

    😦

    cancer sux.

  2. Stephen H
    August 9, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    Thanks for the post Tony. I’ll be honest – it still hasn’t hit me yet. I worked with Ray more than any other single person at Sensis. A mentor to me when is started in 2000, we traveled to San Diego for business together and spent long days at the LM Court Street facility. The past 3 years Ray worked with, and if you subscribe to the corporate tree, for me.

    Almost daily the routine was that I’d get to work between 7 and 7:30, and greeted with an e-mail or IM: RAY L – “Coffee is ready”, and I’d reply with OMW. When we first saw each other it was always “STEPHEN” and I replied “Rrraymond”.

    The worst was the other day I needed an RU part. I knew right where I could get it. I walked over to Ray’s desk…and I just couldn’t take it off. I searched the lab for an hour instead.

    We’ve lost a great co-worker, and a better man.
    God Bless you Ray.

    • August 9, 2010 at 5:01 pm

      Hi Stephen,

      You’re welcome, and thanks for stoppin’ by to share your thoughts.

  3. Diane Reed
    August 9, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    Tony – what a tribute to a dear person. Though I only new Ray on a casual basis, he was one of the most positive, friendly, endearing people I have ever met.

    • August 10, 2010 at 5:53 am

      Thx Diane. I hope you’re doing well.

  4. Ron Turner
    August 11, 2010 at 8:35 am

    There’s not many men better, and not many written tributes better. Like many of us at Sensis, I met and worked with Ray on/off for over 20 years. I can honestly say that he is the only person I know that never appeared to have a bad day (Tony might be close). I’m sure he had some, I probably caused a few myself, but his spirit and optimism and selflessness were constant.
    I have two favorite comments about Ray:
    1) He made where he worked a better place!
    2) I hope I can be half as good a friend to one person as Ray was to many!
    We’ll miss him!
    Cheers!
    Ron

    • August 11, 2010 at 8:43 am

      Thx for hitting the nail on the head Ron.

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