Bernard John Ray, of Mt. Airy is seen here with an unidentified co-worker at Earth Bread & Brewery, 7136 Germantown Ave.

Bernard John Ray, of Mt. Airy is seen here with an unidentified co-worker at Earth Bread & Brewery, 7136 Germantown Ave.

by Sue Ann Rybak

Mt. Airy resident Bernard Ray’s life ended tragically Jan. 4 after he was shot to death on the 3700 block of North Delhi Street in Hunting Park.

According to police reports, Ray, 39, was found fatally shot in the chest after his car crashed into three parked cars around 3 a.m.

Friends and family are heartbroken and shocked by the death of the father of four with an “infectious smile.”

“My heart has been filled with sadness since I heard the news,” said Mt. Airy resident Gina Donato, a longtime customer at Earth Bread and Brewery, where Ray worked as a server for four years until this past November. “My son looked forward to Thursdays as it was ‘time to see Bernard at the pizza store.’”

A benefit to raise money for Ray’s four children and granddaughter will be held at The Earth Bread & Brewery, 7136 Germantown Ave. from 4:30 p.m. to midnight on Thursday, Jan. 8. Donations in his memory can also be sent to the restaurant, which will be forwarded to his family.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting, 20 E. Mermaid Lane.

Petra Brizan-Brown, another customer at Earth Bread and Brewery, said he was “shocked and saddened” to hear the loss of this kind man.

“He was always in a great mood with a bright, infectious smile and served us well every single time,” he said.

Ray’s aunt described her brother as a dedicated family man who loved spending time with his children walking and playing in the Wissahickon Park.

“His love and loyalty, is what he leaves behind instilled in the lives of everyone he encountered,” she said.

La Rose added that because his death is a homicide it’s hard for the family to mourn without closure.

There’s a $20,000 reward for anyone with information leading to an arrest and conviction. If you have any information, please contact Philadelphia Police at 215-686-TIPS (8477) or visit

This article was updated on Jan. 8. An earlier version erroneously stated that La Rose Ray was his oldest sister. She is his aunt.

  • Margaret Sommer

    So sad….I hope they find the people or person responsible for robbing the world of a such a warm and wonderful man. I’ll never forget the first time meeting Bernard…he offered his hand and a smile. He never forgot our names after that and each time greated us like we were old friends…

  • wesphilly

    It was such a shock to hear that Bernard was murdered. My family only knew Bernard through the restaurant, but he and I talked often about music and our children. He’d ask after my daughter and wife on any occasion I came alone. A bright, charming man with a big heart.