Shooting victim Raymond Ferguson mourned
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As a child, Raymond Ferguson spent relaxed summer days visiting his grandparents in Jamaica, playing with his cousins all day and spreading his infectious laugh wherever he went on that island.
"Whenever we saw each other there it was like picking up from a page in a book -- right where we left off," said Ferguson's cousin, Michael Garel of Manhattan. "I will always remember him as the man with the 1,000-watt smile."
Garel spoke to dozens of friends and family members gathered in a Queens church to mourn Ferguson Saturday, six days after he was killed while working at a Medford drugstore.
Ferguson, 45, a Centereach pharmacist who had picked up a Father's Day shift for his boss, and three others were shot to death by a man stealing prescription pain medication, police said.
Ferguson's funeral capped a grief-stricken week remembering the four victims in one of Long Island's deadliest shootings.
Sobbing mourners filled the pews of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Roman Catholic Church, where Ferguson had been married a decade ago, in Forest Hills. The Rev. Msgr. Joseph A. Funaro presided at the traditional funeral Mass.
Nearly a dozen altar servers held candles as they lined the aisle to greet Ferguson's dark, wooden coffin. The scent of frankincense filled the air.
Ferguson's wife, Viedya Sabrina Quail-Ferguson, 34, trailed the coffin, along with his parents, Carmela and Raymond Ferguson Sr., of Oviedo, Fla., and dozens of other family members.
Ferguson, who grew up in Queens Village to immigrant parents, was an only child.
A cousin, Katya Quarless, 43, who grew up close to Ferguson in Queens Village, remembered him as an earnest and extremely hardworking person who placed a high value on education.
"I remember taking college chemistry and having such a hard time I had to ask him to tutor me. He was so nice and patient about it all," Quarless said after the funeral Mass.
Ferguson graduated from New York University with a degree in chemistry and earned his pharmacist's degree at St. John's University.
Karen McDermott, a friend from Manhattan, clutched Ferguson's white pharmacist's lab coat.
"This is all I have left of him," she said through tears. "He was an angel from heaven."
A college friend and pallbearer, David Ling of New Jersey, said all the praise Ferguson got in death he had also gotten in life.
"He was a loyal friend. He had a soft voice and was just the guy you'd introduce to someone as 'that really nice guy,' " Ling said. "It is a loss to the world."