While the news cycles of the week have been focused on the shocking and tragic death of legendary basketball star Kobe Bryant, the family at USA Financial mourns the recent loss of two individuals who made a profound impact on us directly.
Over the past month, the USA Financial family lost two long-time friends and advisors. For those of you that have been connected to USA Financial for some time, it’s likely you may have had interaction at some point with Ray Lussier and James Twigg. I’m saddened to share that both have passed away within the past month or so.
These two men had such uniquely different personalities, but they both had their own special way of impacting the lives they touched. I’m no exception. Ray and James were fiercely loyal individuals and passionate about making the lives of others better, especially their clients.
USA Financial was privileged to have been referred to Ray in 2009. From the moment we met Ray, we knew we wanted to have him as a part of our advisor family. A former green beret, Ray was a no-nonsense straight shooter. His word was his bond and you never needed to question whether he would follow-through on what he said he was planning to do. If we ever hit bumps in the road throughout our professional relationship, Ray handled himself professionally and always trusted that we would navigate the challenges together. He was a mentor to other advisors, frequently setting them straight about what in life was truly worth stressing about. Ray wasn’t one to talk much about his time in Vietnam, but anybody who knew him well could recognize that his time in the military taught him a lot. As many of our service men and women did, he saw things during that period of his life that would shape him into the level-headed man he was. In fact, he was quick to share that his pursuit of an education in psychology after his time in the service was largely driven by the desire to fix himself.
Ray was somebody you just loved talking with, and not just because of his wonderful Boston accent. You always felt you were going to learn something when you chatted with Ray. I always gained a better perspective on my own life after a conversation with Ray. It wasn’t long ago that Ray was fortunate enough to retire from the financial planning business. Sadly, shortly after selling his practice, he was diagnosed with brain cancer. Ray passed away on December 19, 2019. He was 72 years old.
It was less than a month later, on January 18, 2020, that James Twigg passed away unexpectedly as the result of a motor vehicle accident near Phoenix, AZ. James joined USA Financial near the end of 2003. He was one of the very first advisors I recall having a conversation with as a new employee of USA Financial. I remember thinking to myself “if every advisor is as kind and appreciative as this guy, this is going to be the best place in the world to work.” There are so many kind words I could say about James, but the one thing that comes to mind immediately is how thankful and appreciative he was. James made it a point to let you know that he was thankful for anything you did to help him. You couldn’t have a conversation with James without hearing the words “thank you” come out of his mouth.
James had an amazing laugh. Even during times of frustration, he would find ways to laugh and smile. I’ll never forget the day he shared the story of him making squirrel gravy. While I found the idea of squirrel gravy so bizarre, James somehow made me come to the conclusion that it would be worth trying some time. I still owe this to him.
The financial planning world and the USA Financial family lost two good men recently. I’ll always remember how James lit up when I shared the news of my first daughter being born, stressing that there is nothing quite like the father-daughter relationship. I saw the same thing with Ray, as I was fortunate enough to witness his love for his daughter Emily, who worked alongside him in their financial practice. There is nothing quite like that relationship, and the loss of these two men has reminded me to squeeze each of my three daughters a little tighter…
To James and Ray… THANK YOU for sharing all that you did with me. You left a legacy here at USA Financial and a permanent imprint on my heart.
This picture of Ray captures his classic smirk.
I think these two photos of James illustrate two things – his wonderful skill and compassion as a listener, and of course his unforgettable laugh.