He never told me his age, would only tell me he was 90 something with a twinkle in his eye, something one noticed right away, for someone in their 90's Ray Furth had a sharp mind, quick wit and heart of platinum. He was wonderful.
When my husband first moved into our home alone as we were still in Arizona, Ray and he hit it off because Ray used to ride motorcycles and hubby had a Harley. My husband used to call Ray the Mayor of our street because he had lived here since the 1930's.
I met him the first morning I moved in. I stepped outside and he said good morning and called me by my name. I walked over and said, 'you must be Ray.' He was so special, I can't say enough about him.
I would watch him until the last year, mowing his lawn early in the mornings and he had a huge lawn, wash his truck, he had more energy and get up and go than I do and I was basically close to 1/2 his age. He was amazing!
He would crawl up a ladder to clean his gutters and I would holler at him, he would pooh-pooh me and make me promise not to tell his daughter about it, he didn't want her to worry.
I would get up in the mornings and Ray was already up, sitting in his kitchen window, I could see the top of his head. I always felt comforted knowing he was up and moving around and watching over me and the neighborhood he called home for over 70 years.
Ray loved sweets...I would take them to him...banana pudding, cookies, cheese cake, he always made me feel like I was the best cook in the world. He just had that way, he was always so appreciative of what anyone did for him.
He would go to Costco and bring back M&M's for the kids, dates for our family, he was always wanting to bless us with something.
Ray was NOT a cranky old man, he wasn't a grouch, he didn't feel people owed him anything as many old people do. No, Ray was kind, sweet and if you were his friend, he truly cared for you!
The day before Thanksgiving, I fell on the ice and had to go to the hospital...Ray had gotten ill and was my neighbor in the emergency room, we laughed about it. I was always falling and yet Ray rarely did...until recently.
I know he lost his wife years before we moved here. She passed away from Breast Cancer in December. This December his family thought they were going to loose him in December as well...our family prayed, his family prayed and Ray hung in there.
I didn't see him after Thanksgiving. I would talk to his daughter and ask about him. She would tell me his mind was sharp, but his body was failing and he spent most of his days sleeping. I would just let her know if there was anything we could do to help....Ray had family that took care of him as so many people could only dream of. He was cherished!
Sometime this morning, the Mayor of our street passed away. I hope on this Saint Patrick's Day that Ray is celebrating with his wife in heaven dancing with angels. He requested no services and no celebration of his life.
He liked reading my letters to the newspaper when I thought I had something to say... and when he really liked something, he would laugh and say, 'I love it!' I hope he will forgive me for writing this, I just had to let everyone know how sad I am at the passing of this wonderful man and how much different our street will be without him and his family!