Raymond Yu, 72, of Key Largo, FL., was born in 1949 in Toronto, Canada and became an angel in heaven on August 5, 2021. He was the third in a family of four. Ray graduated from The Stony Brook Preparatory School and then New York University, with a major in Mathematics and Computer Science.
Ray retired as President and CEO of W R Systems, Ltd., which he founded in 1983 and directed its growth from a two-person team to a highly respected innovative systems engineering firm of over 350 employees. Based in Fairfax and Norfolk, Virginia, W R Systems had a unique niche in the competitive Federal Government marketplace.
While Ray is proud of his company’s success, he was equally pleased that W R Systems was recognized as one of the best places to work by “Inside Business” and “Washingtonian Magazine” and had been a recipient of both National and Regional Small Business “Best Workplace Awards”. These recognitions reflect the values he sought to bring to his company, which he attributes to the influence in his life of The Stony Brook School’s motto, “Character Before Career.”
Additionally, Ray’s extensive successful business experience has been recognized and sought after by both clients and the Small Business Administration, and he responded by mentoring over 20 small businesses. A 1998 graduate of the Small Business Administration 8(a) program, Ray was the New York Region’s Small Businessperson of the Year in 1996 while the company was a recipient of multiple small business “Fast 50” Growth Awards.
Ray has always valued the company of family and friends. He loved making new friends, and easily made them, which is clear from his over 3,000 Facebook friends. Ray’s friends especially remember him for his sweet, gentle soul, kind heart and his generous spirit. Whether in business or in his personal life, Ray was always there to help. Ray’s quiet demeanor belied the fact that he was jokingly referred to as the “Mayor of the Upper Keys”; he knew everything that was going on. To quote one of his friends, “he was everywhere and, at any given time, anywhere” and he was always there with a smile. Ray was able to fit all this in, even while he was the primary caregiver for his Mom for many years.
Ray loved traveling, cooking, dancing, and listening to music. Ray enjoyed riding around on his motorcycle, boating, diving (replaced by snorkeling in his later years). Ray was a party animal, throwing Superbowl parties every year and pool parties too. And, in recent years, in Key Largo, Ray was always at some jam session or another many times a week. Up and down the Keys, he knew where they all were. Of course, Ray never missed Ladies Night at the Big Chill. When his beloved Harley was alive, they loved going to Yappy Hour together. So, let’s do Ray’s memory proud with a Celebration of Life on November 6, 2021, that includes all his great loves.
Ray is survived by his wife, Jody Nyland Yu, his sister, Pat Tsien and her husband, Tom Cleveland, and his brothers, Dave Yu and Art Yu, and sister-in-laws, Janet and Sheila, respectively, and his nieces and nephew, and many cousins in the U.S. and in China. Ray was pre-deceased by his parents Yu Teh Chuan (d. 2010) and Kung Kuo Ping (d. 2017). We, Ray’s family and extended family and friends, will all greatly miss him, now that he has joined his Harley.
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