Ray Guze passed away suddenly in Cost Rica. - Image: Go Fund Me

Okanagan man dies suddenly in Costa Rica

Well known and popular former hockey and lacrosse player dies in accident while travelling

An Okanagan family is in mourning after a sudden accident claimed the life of a former lacrosse and hockey player.

A celebration of life will be held March 11 in Vernon for Ray Guze, who died suddenly while travelling in Costa Rica.

Guze, who played in the BC Hockey League for Penticton, Trail and Nanaimo as well as seven seasons of professional lacrosse, is being remembered for his humour and his love of life.

“Ray Guze was the most generous, giving and kind soul this earth had ever seen,” reads the Go Fund Me page put together by his mother in Kelowna. “As a young man Ray was a talented athlete that got to live out every boy’s childhood fantasy of having a career as a professional hockey player and then transitioning his skills to play professional lacrosse.”

The family has started a Go Fund Me page to raise money to travel to Costa Rica and bring Guze’s body home, as well as cover funeral expenses. In just one day over $12,000 has been raised.

According to the web site insidelacrosse.com, Guze died of a tragic accident and his mother clarified the cause of death

“He was on holiday with his buddies in Costa Rica, he was having the time of his life in his favourite place in the world. He was dancing on a ledge, slipped, fell approximately 10 feet and hit his head on a cement block. He died instantly with no pain,” the web site reported.

A hard nosed player in his lacrosse years, former teammates remembered Guze in online tributes.

“For a good part of six seasons we either played with or against each other,” wrote Ryan Iannone. “One of the worst to play against but a better teammate would be hard to find. Rest in peace buddy.”

“Ray was a very special person to almost everyone he met, that smile could turn anything around, we lost a great friend, teammate and son. I wish the best to anyone touched by him as this won’t be easy. RIP my friend,” said Teagan Blair.

On the Go Fund Me page, Guze’s mother summed up her son.

“Ray left everyone he met with a lasting impression and a funny story to share. Heaven is filled with laughter as we all mourn the lost of a son, a soul mate, a cousin, a grandson, a teammate and a friend.”

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.


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