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Home » Officer Columns » Secretary-Treasurer » Bidding Farewell to Ray Petch

Bidding Farewell to Ray Petch

  -  former AFM International Secretary-Treasurer

AFM Vice President from Canada Alan Willaert and I recently attended the funeral of Vice President from Canada Emeritus Ray Petch, 80, who passed away February 1, after a brief illness. Ray served with us in many capacities. He had many passions, but his one true love was music. Ray spent most of his years as a professional jazz pianist in Calgary, and while doing so, also began his music administration career, serving as the president and secretary-treasurer of the Calgary Musicians’ Association (Local 547) before moving to Toronto to serve as the AFM Vice President from Canada.

In 1997, Ray retired from his music administration career and moved back to Calgary with his wife Dorothy. He resumed writing music and playing piano in two local big bands until he retired this past December. Ray continued to volunteer in the capacity of a diplomat, steering the AFM through some rough seas. His calm disposition helped to solve what seemed insurmountable problems on both sides of the border.

The memorial celebration of Ray’s life included a wonderful group of local musicians playing a prelude of soft music, while his daughter led the services. There was a candle lighting and eulogy given by AFM Vice President from Canada Emeritus Dave Jandrisch. Ray’s 17-year-old niece played piano and sang a moving tribute. A slide presentation of Ray’s life was followed by a jam session. The reception was a sad but joyous celebration of a gentle giant in the AFM. Goodbye, brother Ray Petch.

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