ON JUNE 17, 2017, RAY EDMONDSON, RETIRED CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF FLORIDA PUBLIC PENSION TRUSTEES ASSOCIATION, PASSED AWAY, AT 79
Kimberlie Ryals, Current CEO of FPPTA has shared heartfelt words about her father. Kim’s tribute is below:
It is with a very heavy heart that I share with you the news of Raymond T. Edmondson’s passing. Ray was the CEO of the FPPTA for 30-years and will be greatly missed. He was a respected and passionate advocate for retirement security, from the time he was a patrolman and then with the tactical unit in Fort Lauderdale in the 1970s. Ray started the police officer’s union in Fort Lauderdale, was president of the FOP for seven years, and fought for (and won) better benefits for police officers. In addition to these accomplishments he was a general contractor. Building and wood working was something he loved.
Ray has touched so many lives in immeasurable ways. He was a respected leader in the industry and made a huge impact in Florida. Ray felt it was very important to offer the very best education possible to public pension trustees; he believed education was the best insurance to protect the pensions he fought so hard for. Even though it was met with resistance 19-years ago, Ray wanted to start a certification program for that education. He enlisted several experts in the field and the rest is history. Since that time, the FPPTA has certified over 1,300 people including trustees, associates and city officials.
My dad was a man of unparalleled integrity, ethics, loyalty and love. He treated all people with respect, but he also knew how to have a good time; he could tell a story or a joke like no one else and was even known for cutting a rug at times.
Not only was he passionate about retirement security for his fellow public employees, he was passionately in love with his family – and the feeling is mutual. Ray and his wife, Lois, were married for 55-years – one of the greatest love stories of all time. It was love at first sight for Ray, and I have never known a man more happily committed to his wife and children. After his first chance encounter with my mother, he went back to his Seabee unit in the West Indies and told his buddy “Fritz” he had met the woman he was going to marry. Fritz asked, “Why didn't you?” Ray replied, “She's only 14.” So he waited, and then he did marry her.
Ray is the proud father of two children, Kimberlie Ryals and Ray Scott Edmondson and the proud grandfather of six young men and we will miss him dearly. I know many of you will too.
Services will be held Friday, June 23rd, in Tallahassee at Culley's MeadowWood Funeral Home, 700 Timberlane Road.