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'Hudson County Hero': Beloved School Counselor Ray Ruiz Dies, 52

Ray Ruiz
Ray Ruiz Photo Credit: GoFundMe photo

A Jersey City dad and substance abuse counselor who died earlier this month is being hailed a Hudson County hero. 

Ray Ruiz died on Oct. 10. He was 52 years old.

"There are truly no words to describe the impact of this loss," Psycho-Educational Associates wrote on Facebook. 

"Ray has been nothing less than an amazing role model, mentor, and true friend to all that know him. Ray's life revolved around his family and his community. He balanced his commitment to his family with his commitment to helping individuals finding their way to emotional happiness. Ray found the time to guide and support anyone who sought his help."

A GoFundMe launched for his wife and four kids had raised more than $21,000 as of Sunday.

Ruiz "spent his days helping children and being a great family man," the Community Networking Association of Hudson County said in a Facebook post in the days following his death.

A youth clinician, Ruiz was born and raised in Jersey City, where he raised four children of his own: Angelina Cecilia Ruiz, Raymond Ruiz Jr., Giovanni Ruiz, Antonio Ruiz.

Danny McDermott remembered Ruiz as a "legend and a true friend with the biggest heart in the world. He helped countless kids that ran out of hope through his years as a counselor."

"Ray was larger than life, his positive energy, that contagious smile that he had, he literally and I am not joking literally knew everyone," reads his obituary, written by his wife, Cecilia Ruiz.

Ruiz was remembered in his obituary as a "mentor to everyone -- a true role model... full of information.

"He was passionate and genuine about his work. Always wanting to help children and families, he wanted to save the world."

Cremation was private.

Click here to donate to the GoFundMe page for Ray Ruiz.

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