March 11, 2004

Mike Hayo camera.gif

I have thought a lot about Ray these past two weeks. He, his beautiful wife Sophie, and their Rosebud are a big part of our life. I, my wife Abigail, and our boys Edward and Michael miss him dearly. By the way, he is known affectionately as Uncle Tiny to his nieces and nephews.

The last couple of years Ray brought his family here to Kansas City for a week at Thanksgiving time under the auspicious of spending time with his family. Sophie and I both knew differently. So while Sophie would stay home and drink red wine with Abigail I would take Ray pheasant hunting. I took him out a couple of years ago and he never looked back. He loved everything about hunting. The outdoors, hiking, camaraderie, and the good times. He shot his share of birds and missed a few, all with that big smile of his. I consider that now my special time with Ray. He and I sharing the love of a sport we both enjoy.

When I told a hunting buddy of mine who knew Ray what had happened, he told me they do take the good ones young. In this case that is true, a better man you will never meet. My heart aches for Sophie and Rose and we will be there for the both of them. Somehow that does not seem to be enough. I will try to honor Ray by being a better husband, father, brother, son, and friend. We loved and will miss you Ray.

The pictures are of Ray last Thanksgiving somewhere in Iowa, USA