H-SANTA MARIA

Jan 14, 2013 3:33 AM by KSBY STAFF

Hundreds attend celebration of life for Grover Beach pilot

A Celebration of Life for Grover Beach pilot Glen Ray was put on Sunday by the Friends of Oceano Airport.

Ray died in a plane crash at the Oceano Dunes on Jan. 2.

Friends and family of Glen Ray gathered to remember his life at the place he used to work and love.

"There's a powerful legacy afoot, a legacy that will under no circumstances be forgotten," says his son, Kyle Matthew Hoff.

Around 200 people from all across the country showed up at ArtCraft Paint at the Santa Maria Airport on Sunday afternoon.

It was just one of the many places that Ray touched the lives of the people around him.

"Every morning he came in with a huge smile and always, always said something wonderful, like you're beautiful, you're brilliant, you're smart," says ArtCraft Paint owner Teresa Arredondo.

From the airplane in the skies above to the sands of the volleyball courts below, he touched everyone.

Another member of ArtCraft Paint, Jolie Lucas, says, "He was a lover of life and he was a humanitarian. He never met a stranger and always had a smile on his face."

Those who knew Ray say the memorial organized by the Friends of Oceano Airport was exactly what Ray wanted - a celebration of life rather than a funeral.

There was a barbecue in front of the hanger with several of the airplanes Ray had worked on outside and a slideshow inside the hanger.

There was also a traditional missing man formation in honor of him.

"I'd just like everyone to remember, you know, how awesome he was and to not obscure his memories, keep them true, keep them solid. Hopefully he's still out there," Hoff says.

Various Central Coast groups and companies donated the labor, space, and supplies to have the memorial.

Any extra money received from the event will go to Ray's son.

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