The Words of the Bratcher Family

Testimony Concerning Ray Bratcher

John Crider
May 7, 2003

To: Rev. Michael Jenkins
Unification Church

Dear Michael,

I wanted to let you know about Ray Bratcher, a member who passed away Monday evening after suffering a heart attack.

According to my information, which may not be completely reliable, a service is scheduled to start at noon tomorrow, Thursday, in Mason, OH.

Shorten & Ryan Funeral Home 400 Reading Road Mason, OH 45040-1514 513-398-2911

He is survived by his wife Miriam and his son Nathan.

I think it is important for you to know that Ray Bratcher was one of the finest people you would ever meet and I doubt if you would find anyone in the Unification Church who knew him that would not agree with that statement.

Ray's real name was Ranier and his Father was a military man stationed in Germany. It is there that Ray learned to speak German fluently. His dream was to go to a University in the United States and he was an excellent student, I am sure he was at the top of his class. He finally chose a school in North Carolina and shortly after he arrived in the United States he was witnessed to and joined the Unification Church.

I do not know all the details, but I just want to give you an idea and hope you can get details from other people who knew Ray.

I first remember seeing Ray working on cars at our Saeilo Motors facility near San Francisco. I didn't really pay much attention to Ray because he was such a humble person. He never called attention to himself, never boasted of himself, and never seemed to have an ego. He just seemed to blend in.

Ray eventually moved into machine tool sales and ended up working in Cincinnati, Ohio where he toiled for many years competing with Mazak and other strong companies in that area. Despite the intense competition, Ray gradually developed that market into the strongest customer base in Saeilo where people bought machines because they believed in Ray.

One day I was talking on the phone with one of Ray's employees (members) and he made the following statement,"Ray is the greatest manager in Saeilo."

This statement set me back in my chair because the person who said this was a long time and successful member in Saeilo and I wasn't expecting that. I kept thinking about that comment over and over after that and I gradually discovered that Ray was all he said he was and more.

I wondered why I had never noticed Ray before and I realized that Ray was such a man of faith, such a humble man of God, that he had almost no ego and only wanted to do God's will. He had worked so faithfully and so humbly for so long that his high intelligence, warm personality, strength, and ability were not easily visible to anyone who did not work closely with him.

Ray had such a sincere way of talking, so humble, that people in a room tended not to notice what he was saying.

When Saeilo was going through a lot of difficulties and the machine tool business was getting smaller and smaller, Ray was like a mountain of granite. He was always steady, never upset, always thinking of God and True Parents. This man would say the wisest things I have ever heard and in a room full of people, unless you were paying close attention, you would miss it.

Ray used to talk to me a lot over the phone, warning me not to let resentment cloud my judgment, to forgive others, constantly encouraging me. He always spoke at length about Fathers words. He was constantly referring to True Parents and God and spoke with incredible depth and maturity.

In my heart, I was always amazed that I never noticed this person for such a long time. I felt he must be one of the strongest people I have ever known in the Unification Church. Perhaps the humblest and most decent person I have ever known.

Ray was an incredibly talented machine tool salesman, manager, and great with customers. He knew machine tools and understood the complexity of manufacturing. He was skilled in auto mechanics but he was capable of far more. Ray could have gone to any university and become a college professor or business executive. He gave all that up and gratefully worked to become whatever True Parents wanted him to be. He never for one second regretted his commitment and never for one second every complained against God, True Parents, or Divine Principle. He was solid granite. At the same time, he could speak with incredible depth about any topic and relate it to God. The term "down to earth" could have originated with Ray Bratcher.

Customers absolutely believed in him. If honesty and integrity was a color, Ray was painted that color from head to toe and everybody could see him coming from miles around. I am certain he had that kind of reputation wherever he worked.

Now Ray is passing from us. I wanted you to know something about him. He was truly a great man who could lead others in the midst of difficulty with unbelievable faith and humility. At the same time, Ray was sometimes invisible to us. Passing through our life in such a way, that we may not have noticed how truly special he was unless we had the heart to notice or someone tapped us on the back and said, "look, there goes Ray Bratcher. Did you know about him?"

So I am glad that I could know him for a short time and I will always remember him as a role model though I doubt I will ever be as strong, I will always treasure him as my friend and a great example of God working his goodness in man.

Good men often pass by too quickly, before our eyes have a chance to adjust to the brightness of their glow.

Take care,

John Crider

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