A beloved and respected longtime member of the Western New York Offshore Powerboat Association based in Buffalo, N.Y., Ray Nuchereno lost his battle with cancer and died yesterday at his home in the Tonawanda. He was 59 years old.
Captured here at the Buffalo Poker Run with Maureen Schmitt, Ray Nuchereno was a devoted member of the Western New York Offshore Powerboat Association. Photos courtesy/copyright Tim Sharkey/Sharkey Images.
Nuchereno had fought multiple myeloma for several years. Among the many performance boats he owned was a 42-Fountain—his most recent was a 47-foot Fountain—he named Multiple What in a nod to his courageous fight for life.
“He was WYNOPA’s biggest supporter,” said Tony Scioli, a member of the club and the founder of Elite Poker Runs LLC, which is running the Western New York Poker Run (formerly the Buffalo Poker Run) this year. “The Buffalo Poker Run wouldn’t have been what it was without him. He was good for bringing at least $10,000 in sponsorship money every year. He was one of the nicest guys you would ever meet.
“All of our summer meetings were at Ray’s boathouse,” Scioli continued. “Once a month, he would open up his boathouse to all of us and we’d meet there. I once told him, ‘Thank you for making this happen.’ He said, ‘No, thank you. This is what I live for.’ He was thankful for us. He was thankful for his friends.
Nuchereno (at the helm station) owned several performance boats, including a few Fountain models, during his years on the water.
On Thursday when Nuchereno’s condition worsened and it became apparent that he might not survive through the weekend, his brother, Robert, and his girlfriend, Maureen Schmitt, arranged to have him transported to his home by ambulance and set him up in his boathouse in Grand Island, N.Y. A number of friends from WYNOPA including Scioli and Steve Mckie visited him that evening.
“We all went down there to say our goodbyes,” said Scioli. “We dropped everything we were doing—there were like 60 guys there. It was one of the most beautiful days you could imagine. We carried him down the steps to his porch on his boathouse on a stretcher and laid him on a couch. Everyone was telling stories. When he passed away last night, he was still surrounded by his boating friends. I have never seen more grown men cry.
“He died exactly the way he would have wanted to,” he added. “He went out in typical Ray fashion.”
In addition to his aforementioned brother, Robert, Nuchereno is survived by his son, Roman, and father, John. For a formal obituary and information on his upcoming presentation and service click here.