Raymond Siler

Raymond Warren Siler

Thursday, March 28th, 1963 - Friday, October 9th, 2020
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Raymond was born in Schenectady New York, attended public schools. He proved to be a talented distance runner who started running in the 5th grade at age 10. Running became his way of life. His proudest high school career moment came with a PR in High School on a certified 5000 meter course at Cobleskill of 15:14. He continued on as a national class runner, and record holder in many 10,000 meter races.

Ray’s personal best at the 5000 meters of 14:07 came while participating in the open class. He was the winner of the Air Force nationals 5000 m in 1982. He was a member of the United States Air Force ultramarathon team which out ran over 100 teams (including all branches of the military) and covered 167 miles in 24 hours, claiming first place. Ray went on to coach high school cross country athletes for over 30 years. He helped coach many athletes on to the NYS meet. He was proud to have several athletes become cross country coaches themselves as adults. Ray’s last race was at 5000 meter in 2007, where he had a first place finish in under 18 minutes.

Ray also had a love of the water and adventure. He was last nationally certified at age 51 an open water lifeguard.

He was a survival instructor for the United States Air Force. He earned a perfect score of 300 on a United States Marine Corp PFT (Physical Fitness Test ), a requirement for application for a department of defense employees working on security protocols for the US government.

He met all requirements to be assistant Girl Scout adjunct instructor for Troop Outings so he could participate in outings with his beloved nieces.

Ray was an instructor and owner of a survival school based in the Adirondacks, which for many years helped prepare individuals to safely pursue their aspirations and adventures around the world. He was an instructor of many military personnel in all of the service branches of the United States.

A specialized trainer of military intelligence officers.

A student and teacher of Aikido for 39 years. Ray held the rank of third-degree black belt in Tang Soo Do, as well as was a senior instructor of Brazilian jujitsu. He owned a karate school for 27 years, and was proud to have produced 23 amazing black belts over that period of time. He trained thousands of others to various ranks.

Ray was a swat team adjunct instructor for many years. Completed Level I,and Level ll of Split Second Survival Training under the direction of Larry Wicks. And taught self-defense seminars around the United States for over 20 years.

For over 20 years, Ray worked as a CPA (Close protection agent) and professional bodyguard.

He was one of eight martial arts instructors from around the USA chosen to represent the United States at the World Open Karate Championships in 2008. It was held in Chung Pyongyang South Korea with over 80 countries in attendance. Although, in subsequent years, he was extended the same invitation to the Philippines & Brazil, he declined, due to security protocol concerns. Ray was also an instructor of a pilot program for challenged children at a nationally recognized school for young people with special needs and challenges.

Ray was a Project Adventure Instructor. A source of great pride and accomplishment unmatched by most other accomplishments.

He was a Private Investigator and a Missing Persons Investigator for 34 years. Owner of Siler Investigations, licensed through the State Department. A licensed pilot, a licensed scuba diver, and high angle climber, a forensics technician, an Airscent K-9 handler with an unmatched perfect performance record. He was a student of investigative sciences. At time of certification, the youngest ever nationally certified Missing Persons search manager in the United States through NASAR (National Association Search And Rescue). He was a founding member of A.R.M American Response for the Missing. A senior investigator, a skilled kinetic interviewer, an explorer and finder of truth. He also was a team leader on Two Smithsonian Institution Expeditions, serving as a land navigator, as well as Team Aerial Photographer.

Ray was a loving father, a loyal friend, best uncle, brother and son.

He was a fighter to keep the faith. A person that people relied on in times of trouble to always be there. And his friends were never let down.

His final wishes: a hope for peace on Earth and good will toward men. That mankind will extend the circle of their compassion to all living things. That anyone reading this try to remember that unconditional love is the key to true happiness. That you can truly have what you are willing to give. That people are way more the same than they are different. And seek to embrace the beauty of that fact, rather than focusing on what truly small differences in the big picture we have. There will always be people who, for their own advantage strive to put a wedge between human beings because peace does not serve their ends. Be willing to lose battles in order to win wars and never, ever bring a skateboard to a gun fight.

Show compassion to those less fortunate than yourself. Be nice to people on the way up, they will be the same people you will see on the way back down. Read the Poem “Desiderata “out loud once a year to someone. As well as the Poem “Success” by Emerson. Try to remember that “things” can only bring temporary happiness, that lasting happiness is to be found in the service of helping someone with your time, encouragement, love, honesty or resources. When you see something that needs to be done, don’t be afraid to jump in and do it. If we waited until we were smart enough, rich enough, had time enough, confidence enough, nothing would ever get done. Ask yourself, if not you, then who?. Smile even when you’re down to your last 5 bucks. Remember those Neil Diamond lyrics “money talks, but it can’t sing and dance and it can’t walk”. Be faithful to those closest to you, and know that the grass is never really greener on the other side of the fence, and requires the same amount of mowing. Find a mission in life, however humble, and dedicate a lifetime perfecting yourself and skills to it. Try to refrain from starting things that you don’t plan on sticking with. Ask yourself the question, is this worthy of my time, energy and resources before you begin. The world is full of incomplete projects, try not to increase this number. Never be afraid to say you’re sorry, never be afraid to cry, it shows more strength than you might think. And in final thought: Go to the woods… seek out the essential facts of life so that when it comes your time to die you do not find that you have not lived.

There will be no services.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to:

The cat rescue group from whom we adopted our beloved Bruce
All For The Love Of Whiskers (AFTLOW),
In memory of Ray Siler written on donation check
PO Box 125
Kerhonkson, NY 12446


To the kindest organization you will find, during the most difficult part of your loved one’s journey
Hudson Valley Hospice
In memory of Ray Siler written on donation check
374 Violet Avenue
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
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Private Condolence
Plant a Tree in Memory of Raymond
5 trees have been planted in memory of Raymond Warren Siler

Brian, Bennett and Zachary Karas

Posted at 11:55am
With loving memories of Raymond Siler, "Mr. Siler" was our teacher, mentor and friend.

3 trees were planted in the memory of Raymond Siler

Plant a tree

Dave Byrne

Posted at 10:18am
Ray has always been the consummate "Peaceful Warrior" and was--and will continue to be, in so many ways--a great mentor, sensei, and older brother figure...both to myself and my oldest son. Coach Ray coached us in track and field at Red Hook High School and then, after I returned to the area, taught my son Karate, and also invested numerous hours in coaching him in running. I will always cherish his friendship, humor, and sincerity, as we shared a few meals at local Red Hook spots over the last 10 years, discussing business ideas and anything else that was on our minds.
When I spoke with him several weeks ago, Ray told reminded me of how blessed I am with four happy and healthy children and expressed how proud he was of me as a father and for my wife and I for raising our kids "the right way." Receiving this recognition from Ray was immensely meaningful to me, and I will never forget it.
He always 'walked the walk,' never giving up his strength of belief and conviction, and told me multiple times that he would never give up the fight and that death would have to come take him. He was a Peaceful Warrior and demonstrated heroic resiliency, even in the face of death, for many years.
Through his generosity, compassion, loyalty, courage and indomitable spirit, he has left a living imprint on both my children and I and a PIECE OF COACH RAY/"SHARKEY" WILL ALWAYS LIVE ON IN THE BYRNE FAMILY.
See you on the other side, Coach Ray.

Marita del Toro

Posted at 03:43pm
I am so sorry to receive this news! I have remembered Ray very fondly in the years following my brief visit to Red Hook. He was a sweet man, so in love and proud of his daughter, and so committed to his missing person work. Although I knew he was admirable even then, reading his obituary I realize how amazing, and modest a man he was. It is too late to tell Ray how fond I was of him, and how much I admired him. But I hope his daughter reads this, and can know that even in Puerto Rico, Ray left his mark and is remembered.

Sophia DeAngelo

Posted at 05:57pm
Those who never met him will never truly understand when you tell them about Ray. He was so many great things in one and brought light to everyone he met. He was beloved by all and will be missed so dearly.

Timothy Kennedy

Posted at 01:36pm
Ray was a close childhood friend, who shared many impressionable memories. I am sad that he has left us so young. He was a better man than I. I am truly happy to have recently reconnected and shred some of our childhood and young adult adventures. He definitely left an admiral mark on our planet. I wish him the warmest departure and look forward to seeing him again some day. My prayers and love wishes to his loving family. I am sorry for your loss, and at the same time glad his suffering has ended. I thank you for sharing his Obit. It was so beautiful and touching. It brought tears of joy for him and it really defines the great man he is! Thank you!

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