PITTSTON – There were hundreds of looks of sadness as people left the funeral for former State Senator Ray Musto. The longtime politician passed away Thursday after months of illness.
Saying goodbye wasn't easy for longtime friends, like Lou Musto, of Hughestown, who's no relation.
"I went to school with Ray, high school. We've been friends ever since, in contact. It breaks my heart to see him go like this," said Lou Musto.
Ray Musto's funeral was in Pittston, where he was well known for decades, serving as a state representative, U.S. congressman, and finally state senator.
Friends and other politicians, including former State Senator Bob Mellow, paid their respects. Tom Tigue was also there. He filled Musto's seat as state representative when Musto moved on.
"He was really a great source of advice, of counsel, of knowledge for me, all those years of experience he had. He was wonderful," said former state representative Tom Tigue.
Musto's political career ended in 2010, when he was federally indicted, accused of accepting thousands of dollars in kickbacks. In recent years, his health had also become an issue. A judge recently ruled Musto was too sick for trial, and he was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.
"The skeptics thought it was a ploy and that they didn't realize the health problems he had, not just recently, over the past number of years," said Tigue.
Friends who attended the funeral had only good things to say about Musto and the legacy he'll leave behind in Luzerne County.
"All the people that knew him believed in him. He was a great man. We lost a great man," said Lou Musto.
The death of former State Senator Ray Musto comes less than a month after he was released from a federal medical center in North Carolina. But at today's funeral service, the focus was on the good things they remember about the man who served the people of the Pittston area for decades.