Point Pleasant Boro residents and school alumni are mourning the death of Raymond Greuter, the long-time music teacher in Memorial Middle School.
Greuter, who was 64 when he died Thursday, was known for his modern and eclectic musical tastes - as well as his easy-going manner - as he became a Point Boro school district mainstay for 38 years.
Dan Carver, director of the Memorial Middle School band, dedicated a song to Greuter during the school's band concert on Thursday night.
"All of us in the Point Pleasant Borough School District, especially Memorial Middle School, were deeply saddened by the news of Ray Greuter’s passing. He was well liked and respected by all those who knew him, and we have been profoundly touched by this tragedy," the district said in a statment.
Greuter, who was hired in 1970 and retired in 2008, was known for his love of Supertramp - particularly "The Logical Song," which he had students sing to, and practically memorize, during his classes inside the school's band room.
While other teachers would have kids listen to Beethoven, or have them square dance to country music, Greuter would play "Call Me" from Blondie, "Running On Empty" from Jackson Browne or even a little Devo for his grateful students.
"Ray always strived for excellence for himself and for his students. He was always excited about exploring new instructional methods related to music and the students," the district said.
He was known for engaging students who otherwise didn't want to be engaged. If they were wearing a concert shirt, he likely knew the band - and maybe even went to the show.
"Hey, I like the Dead," he once said to a student wearing a Grateful Dead shirt. The two then hit it off, spending a little bit of time at the beginning of each class period talking about the Grateful Dead.
"We can take some solace in the good and lasting work that Ray did in his too-brief lifetime. The results of his outstanding teaching and his beneficial influence on students will live on," the district said.
"His students, in a very real sense, are monuments to Ray’s life and dreams. If ever there was a life fully lived, one filled with lasting achievement, it was Raymond’s."
There are no known plans for a funeral, according to school officials. His last residence was believed to be Brick.