In Memoriam: Mary Ruth “U.V.” Ray

mary ruth rayMary Ruth Ray (Aka”U.V”; Aka “Vi”) died Tuesday, January 29 at age 56 after a three year battle with cancer.  She was a world class viola player,  a founding member of the Lydian String Quartet and an artist in residence at Brandeis University for more than 3 decades.  Others knew her better and longer than me,  but she was a friend and a follower of this blog.  I refer you to her biography page on the Brandeis University web site, and obituary in the Boston Globe.   The list of recordings and Grammy nominations is particularly impressive.  One blogger described her playing as demonstrative of quiet excellence; that describes her perfectly as a human being as well.

I am not one for eulogies and she did not want any.  I will close with an expression of deepest sympathy to her family, friends and professional colleagues, and a repeat of a past memorial post from last fall that was one her favorites from this blog.  I have lost too many friends and family this year,  and now another bright light has gone out.

In Memoriam: Life, Death and Leaves

  (originally posted Sept 29,, 2012)

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower”–Albert Camus

It has been a difficult week as three people I know died.  They were an 82-year-old uncle whose death had been anticipated, a 59-year-old work colleague whose demise was an unexpected shock, and most tragically, the 29-year-old son of one of my poker buddies whose death from illness had been feared for some time.

Here is an elegy to these lost souls with the only piece of poetry I ever wrote which I would deem appropriate.  It’s well over 35-years old–the sort of thing one could only write in one’s youth.

The Leaves

Words ©1976, 2012  Mark Sackler

Sit and look at the leaves,

Amber arms descending from October’s trees.

Covering delicate grasses,

sweeping the highway,

bedding the rain,


Solemn songs to life departed,

Sit and look at the leaves.


  1. It’s a bit startling how little I know about you.

  2. I just parted with 13 year old cat yesterday. It is difficult and I am grief stricken. I find your poem so comforting. I am sorry for your loss. She sounds like a marvelous person with a heart full of music.

  3. I am humbled by the accomplishments of Mary Ruth Ray. You will hear her heart beat whenever you listen to her work along with the rhythm of her courage and her inspiration.

    When your time comes to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home.

  4. suzysomething says:

    Your words are comforting to one who lost a son to suicide. Thank you.

  5. Suzy–comments like yours are what makes this blog worthwhile. I am sorry for your loss and my heart is with you.

  6. This last September was very similar to your month. Within 2 weeks three people very close to me passed. It will take some time to assimilate their absence, but time and reflection will help. As you put it so very nicely…look at the leaves.


  1. […] In Memoriam: Mary Ruth "U.V." … on The Millennium Conjectures(tm) […]

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