Miami, Florida, United States…[Libna Stevens/IAD]
Approximately 500 family members, friends and colleagues gathered Thursday, Dec. 7, for the funeral service of Pastor Ramon H. Maury. Pastor Maury, who retired in mid-2005 after being head treasurer for 20 years of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Inter-America and five years as vice president, died in Mexico on Dec. 2 of an apparent respiratory arrest. He was 73.
During the somber ceremony held at the Westchester Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Church in Miami, mourners came to pay tribute and reflect on his life-long achievements and positive influence. Pastor Maury was an active member of the Westchester Spanish Adventist Church.
Church leaders mentioned the shock of his death and testified to his many years of dedicated service to the church he loved so much.
“Of all that was said by our dear mentor, friend and brother Ramon Maury, I think that the most that we can take of his life is that he lead an example worthy to immitate,” said Pastor Israel Leito, president of the church in Inter-America.
“The impact of Ramon in the life of the Inter-American Division (IAD) can be measured in understanding the influence that he has had over so many people and organizations.”
Pastor Leito went on to say that Pastor Maury was known as the mentor to so many church leaders.
“There is no corner in Inter-America where there is not a leader who has not been influenced by Ramon,” said Leito. “He not only formed leaders but was instrumental in the development of organizations of the Inter-American Division.”
Pastor Maury led many committees in the IAD and gave tremendous support to the work of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in Inter-America. He was ADRA-IAD’s chairman of the board for many years.
“Great is the loss of the Inter-American Division family as we can no longer depend on his counsel,” said Pastor Leito. “But we have the hope of seeing him again in glory and we need to honor his memory always and follow his example in everything.”
Pastor Filiberto Verduzco, treasurer of the church in Inter-America, spoke to those gathered and expressed his gratitude and tribute to Pastor Maury.
“I always saw him as a teacher,” said Pastor Verduzco. “Since I met him in 1984 until days before his death, I saw him with the greatest respect. The church gave me the opportunity to replace him as treasurer, and only from that chair can be seen the evidence of the quality of his effort and excellence of his work.”
“He built the financial strength that we enjoy now and in which rests the fulfilment of our commitments in the territory of the Division,” Pastor Verduzco continued.
Verduzco ended by announcing the establishment of the Ramon H. Maury Scholarship Fund has been established for needy students of Colombia Adventist University (CAU). Maury was born and raised in Colombia and studied theology at CAU.
Speaking on behalf of the Adventist World Church was Bob Lemon, treasurer of the General Conference. Lemon gave assurances of how much the church appreciates the efforts of Pastor Maury.
Lemon reflected on the time he met Elder Maury years before.
“I appreciated so much his expertise, but appreciated more his love and dedication to the church,” Lemon said. “He shared with me a lot of information that was very helpful to me and over the years I got to know him much better. I have considered him a mentor and teacher.
“I want all of you to know that his [Pastor Maury’s] church loved him and that they will be praying for you during this time of grief,” he continued. “We thank the Lord that we do not mourn like those who have no hope.”
Representatives from several church regions in Inter-America gave condolences during the memorable service.
“Listening to the testimonies tonite, I must admit that a champion has fallen. ” said Dr. Vernon Andrews, vice president of the church in the Caribbean.
“In my estimation, based on my association with Pastor Maury, he was a competent and astute financial administrator and knowledgeable and lucid presenter of the Word of God,” said Dr. Andrews.
Maury obtained a master’s degree in business administration from Andrews University.
Similar words were spoken by Pastor Patrick Allen, president of the church in the West Indies.
“I stand here this evening still shocked from the news that we have lost a champion and one of our brave soldiers of the battle field,” he said. “I want to let you know that we at the West Indies Union grieve with you the loss of our brother. But we have the great hope that we will see him again.”
Church leaders from Colombia, Mexico and Puerto Rico also spoke.
The service was sprinkled with musical numbers and condolences from Maury's family members, closest friends and peers.
During the packed service, a moment of silence was offered in honor of Pastor Maury’s life.
Maury's years of service for the church began in 1957 where he became the treasurer and professor at CAU. During his time in Colombia he married Lourdes Rivas with whom he fathered three children. Later, he served as president of that institution. He also pastored a church and served as treasurer and president of the church in Colombia. Years later his wife Lourdes died.
In 1980 he married his second wife, Maria Eugenia. Soon after they had a daughter.
In 1981, Pastor Maury became the treasurer of the church in the Inter-American Division, headquartered in Miami, Florida. He continued in that position for 20 years until becoming vice president of the Division in 2000. He remained in that position until retiring from full time service with 49 years of church service.
He is survived by his wife, Maria Eugenia, his four children, Sussy, Boris, Ramon and Julie, and four grandchildren, Carla, Adriana, Daniel and Gabrielle.
Donations to the Ramon H. Maury Scholarship Fund may be sent through the Inter-American Division. For more information, please contact the Inter-American Division Office at 305.403.4700.