Thursday, February 21, 2013

In Memorium: Raymond E Mincer, CLU

In Judaism, when one learns of a death, one praises God, saying: "Baruch atah Adonai, Dayan HaEmet," "Praised are you, O God, the Righteous Judge."

Ray Mincer, who passed away this morning at the ripe young age of 78, certainly deserves the Good Lord's attention. I was privileged to know, and be close friends with, Ray for the past 23 or so years. He was a true mensch.

We met when he dropped by the office one day to help out our agency's founder on a case, and for the next couple of years, Ray helped me with some of my more .. um.. interesting cases. Then, in 1993, Ohio adopted a Continuing Education requirement for agents. That fall, we both attended a - how to put it nicely? - "less-than-compelling" (but very expensive) all-day CE seminar. At one of the breaks, we got to talking, and decided that we could do this, too (well, not the boring part, of course). And thus was born Miami Valley Insurance Educators.

Although a practicing and proud Lutheran, Ray had an uncanny Yiddish accent (much to my own chagrin - I have none). More often than I care to think, he would slay me with a classic Jewish joke, delivered dead-pan, in a flawless Yiddish dialect.

Over the past half dozen or so years, Ray fought - successfully - a series of various cancers. This last one, though, proved too much: after the latest, unsuccessful, round of chemo, and with several "appliances" attached to his failing body, he finally declared "enough."

Two weeks ago, my better half and I traveled to Cleveland (where Ray and Joyce had moved a few years ago, to be near their terrific son and his family). I am so glad we did: it was a special time to reconnect, and to see him laugh, and grimace, joke and reminisce.

Cancer may have taken my friend, but nothing can take the years of joy we shared, and the memory of his wry smile from me.

Godspeed, Ray, Godspeed.
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