In harmony with the solemn spirit of the day, poignant words rang out as family members and friends offered final tributes and personal reflections that emphasized the depth and breadth of the influence A. Raymond Tye had on their lives.
While pounding rain and powerful winds raged outside, gentle tears fell inside Congregation Mishkan Tefila, as 2,000 mourners came to say their final goodbye. For many, Ray was the irreplaceable center of their universe—a light in their lives. But the inspiration he gave and the love he shared with so many will continue in time and space with no interruption. Following are excerpts from the tributes so beautifully articulated at his funeral service.
“We are grateful for the many blessings in the life of Ray Tye. To hear anyone speak of Ray was to hear words such as kindness, inspiration, humility and generosity. He believed that giving was his moral responsibility; he believed it was his duty to finance that surgery, his duty to help a restaurant worker he’d just met get his daughter into the college of her dreams, his duty to make the connection that would enable someone to get a job, his duty to pay for the surgery to separate conjoined Egyptian twins, his duty to fund that school in Anguilla. Ray needed no accolades – no acknowledgement. Ray always wanted to be an Ambassador but as Eileen points out, Ray never realized that he was an Ambassador – of goodness to all of us who had the privilege to know him and to be touched by the kindness of his soul and the goodness of his actions.”
Rabbi Jonina Pritzker – Officiant
“I know that Ray touched every person here in a deeply profound way, and we cannot imagine a life without him. But there will be time to plunge into the depths of our own grief, so today let us put aside our tears as we celebrate a great life well lived. Let us rejoice in the knowledge that we had the privilege to know and to love a remarkable man; a man who came very close to achieving the human perfection that God intended. It is entirely possible that such a man has never lived before and I believe it’s probable that no one like him will ever live again. Keep the happiest of your special memories in mind now and try to imagine what this celebration would have meant to Ray, since everyone he loved is here. For you,
Ray, my darling husband, I know there was a jubilant reception when you entered heaven. I will always love you.”
Eileen Tye – Ray’s Wife
“When my father was honored recently by Catholic Charities, Cardinal O’Malley introduced him as an angel. He truly was an angel to people. It did not matter if you were one of his children, a member of the United Liquors extended family or any person in need. He was there for everyone. All I can say is I’m celebrating 87 years of his dynamic life. We’re fortunate to have had him for that many years; he was a guiding light to so many people. I am proud and privileged to be the son of this great man. He was my best friend, my confidant, my disciplinarian and my teacher. He sacrificed much for his family for many years. He loved his children – all 6 – and his grandchildren – all 5. I love you dad, and thank you Eileen for giving him so much happiness.”