Webster - Joseph “Ray” Briere, aged 91, passed away Monday October 25, 2021. After being diagnosed with Leukemia and congestive heart failure, Ray fought the good fight, utilizing every reasonable medical treatment to restore his health and maintain a good quality of life. When this was no longer possible, he transitioned to hospice care, which enabled him to have a window of relatively pain-free time, in his own home, with his loving family by his side. Ray faced death with courage and dignity, thinking of others until the very end. Never had a man a bigger heart, or a greater capacity to love.
He passed on peacefully in his home, surrounded by those who cherished him in life and will forever cherish his memory. He and his late wife, Margaret E. (Reynolds) Briere lived in Webster since their marriage in 1976. Previously, Ray lived in Putnam, CT.He leaves his beloved sister, Marguerite Plante, 93, of Warwick, RI; son, Michael Briere, and his wife, Johanne Mahon, of Thompson, CT; daughter, Karen McGovern, and her husband Patrick; step-sons Anthony R. Kopas and wife, Amy Kopas, of Wrentham, and Jan A. Kopas and wife, Cheryl Kopas (to whom he was particularly close) of Worcester; step-daughters Kathleen Kopas and Mary Lou Kopas; ten nieces and nephews, sixteen grandnieces/nephews; six great-grandnieces/nephews; sixteen grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. Whether they knew him as Dad, Ray, Grandpa, or Papa, they all adored him, and he they.
He also leaves Bridget the Wonder Dog, who has found a new loving home with his daughter Karen and her family.
Ray was born in Danielson, CT, son of the late Josiah and Blanche Briere. He was a Korean-era US Air Force Veteran. Additionally, Ray was a local celebrity, playing the organ and singing at many fine restaurants and piano bars from Webster, Sturbridge, and Provincetown, to Connecticut and parts of Florida. Under his professional name, Ray Brier, he played and sang them all: classics, show tunes, ballads, sing-alongside, and popular music from the 20’s on, always keeping up with latest hits. His greatest joy was making people happy with his music.
If you grew up in this area, you remember him playing at The Lodge for many years, where the sign out front said, “Ray Brier, Nightly.”
There will be no calling hours. A funeral service will be held Friday, November 5, 2021, at 10:00 am at the Zion Lutheran Church, Oxford, MA, followed by burial with military honors in Mount Zion Cemetery, Webster.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to the St Jude’s Hospital for Children.
The Shaw-Majercik Funeral Home is directing arrangements. A guest book is available at www.Shaw-majercik.com where you may post a condolence or light a candle.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105