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In Memory of Ray Neri, the ‘Mayor of Lealman’

Ray Neri | Lealman | Deaths

Lealman community activist Ray Neri died Jan. 3. A memorial video is scheduled to be played this morning during a memorial service. You can view it here.

LEALMAN – A memorial service is scheduled at 10 a.m. today for Ray Neri, a community activist who put the unincorporated Lealman area on the map.

His effectiveness – getting street lights, getting unified garbage service (still the only such service in unincorporated Pinellas), bringing parks and needed aid to his neighbors – earned him the unofficial title “Mayor of Lealman.” The joke, of course, was that Lealman has no mayor because it’s not a city but an unincorporated area located generally between Pinellas Park and St. Petersburg. The “mayor” was known for his equally unofficial office at Denny’s restaurant on 34th Street N, which became “Lealman City Hall.”

Mr. Neri was also one of TB Reporter‘s “Neighborhood Voices” columnists. The Pinellas Sheriff’s PAL, a program for kids that Mr. Neri championed, Pinellas County commissioners, community activists, TB Reporter and others created this memorial video that tells just a bit about Mr. Neri and his many accomplishments.

His family suggests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Pinellas Sheriff’s PAL program.

We at TB Reporter will miss him.

Ray Neri | Lealman | Memorial Service | Pinellas Sheriff’s PAL | TB Reporter

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