Friday, November 20, 2015

Well-Loved Papa Ray's Manager Ends His Life; What You Can Do

We got a heart-breaking note from the owner of Papa Ray's entitled "Papa Ray's has a heavy heart." Please read it and please remember that there is help out there. And if you can spare a couple bucks to help out Wilvy's family in this terrible time, that would be greatly appreciated, too.

"Wilvy Ramos, the very first employee at the Uptown location, has ended the struggle with his depression and sadness. Wilvy decided to end his life just this past Saturday. We here at Papa Ray's couldn't be more heartbroken. You can tell something isn't right when you walk thru the door. We loved him very much. He was employed with us for the last 5 years.

I'm writing to tell you this info two reasons.
  • Wilvy was loved very much by so many here in Uptown and by so many of our customers. We would actually tease him about having "fans" like a rock-star. The ones we have told have expressed their desires to help raise money and show support for his family. Wilvy was the breadwinner in his family, leaving behind his wife, mother and sister. So please send any donations to or go to and search for The-Wilvy-Ramos-Memorial-Fund
Please give what you can. If you ever met Wilvy, odds are he made you laugh. His family really needs the help of his neighbors and friends.
  • The second reason I am writing is because this is a very serious issue. 
  • Please, tell those that you love that you do in fact love them. Tell them everyday.
  • Nobody should have to live secretly in pain. Please reach out if you are struggling with depression. 
  • Please, if suicide is ever the answer for you, please give someone you love the opportunity to change your mind. 
  • If not someone you love, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. 
  • If all else fails, come on in to Papa Ray's and ask for me the owner, Matt. I will lend you my ear and help you try to find a solution. There is always a better way, always. We will find it together.
Thank You,

Matt Villareal, Owner
Papa Ray's Pizza & Wings
4757 N. Sheridan Rd."

May you have finally found peace, Wilvy Ramos.


  1. Matt is absolutely right- those who knew Wilvy thought only the best of him. He was always nice and had the ability to make a friend anywhere, and at anytime. Between Wilvy and the man who ended his life at the lakefront this week, we should know that depression is a serious medical issue. Love your friends and family a little bit more this weekend.

    1. This comment was very well said. Thank you for taking the time to share this valuable message.

  2. Thank to everyone for helping. Your comments, love and support are shinning thru the dark clouds that hover about Papa Rays. Matt Villareal

  3. Thank you, Matt, for this touching tribute to Wilvy, and for personally reaching out to your community in this way. It's a wonderful and heartfelt gesture. Your note made me cry.

  4. Wilvy was one of my favorite people. We met about 3-4 years ago when I worked in Uptown, and we chatted about tattoos and our days in passing, but I always left happier than when I went in. He was always able to make me smile. I never would have known he suffered from depression. I interacted with him nearly weekly as a Papa Ray's customer, and I'm deeply saddened to hear of his passing. I wish he knew how highly people thought of him. I would have gladly told him how much he affected my life. Working long hours at the nonprofit across the street and having personal problems of my own, I'd stop in at PR's and Wilvy would brighten my day. I'd be sad if anyone else was working the front desk. He always turned my day around for the better, and his spirit will be truly missed. My thoughts and prayers are with his close family and friends, but I hope they know how much he affected the lives of his customers. And I hope that someday their pain will subside, and all that will be left will be the happy memories he gave them.

  5. I can't say that I knew Wilvy, but sadly, I know this kind of tragedy well. I've experienced loss personally, I am a licensed psychologist and have been a mental health advocate for years. I've also conducted groups for people who have lost a person to suicide. As Matt and the authors of this article have done, it's always important to acknowledge that suicide is a mental health issue. The hotline is a remarkable resource for people coping with suicidal ideation or people trying to help someone who is. To learn more about prevention, primarily in the form of accessing treatment or if you are a person who has been affected by loss, please go to They do good work.

    May we all find peace in this difficult time.

  6. ~You will be missed and my thoughts go out to the family~ from a Uptown resident / customer.

  7. This is heartbreaking. Prayers for his friends and family.

  8. I used to work at papa rays in uptown. When I got hired to be manager there Wilvy was the first person I met and was always there to help me and the rest of the staff! I am very sadden that my friend Wilvy has past away and he was and still is a very good guy with a really good heart!!!! I am really sorry for Wilvy loss to his wife and Wilvy family. I loved Wilvy very much!

  9. My deepest sympathy to Wilvy's family and the staff at Papa Ray's. He was always kind to me and I'll miss him. His service and good attitude set the cool vibe at Papa Ray's which always serves everyone who walks through the doors quickly and politely. From outward appearances we never know what burdens someone is carrying inside. Remember to be gentle to those around you.

  10. I've had the pleasure, of meeting this gentleman on several occasions when picking up my food. I would call my order in, and had the pleasure of speaking with him beforehand. And, he was always pleasant both on the phone and in person. It sadden , me to hear that he ended his life. Now , I think back and wish I could have just said everything is going to be alright. And, offered my support. This is truly , a sign that you never know what a person is experiencing internally .