Public service

director of GHURA mourned, remembered for his dedication to public service | Guam News

Guam Housing and Urban Renewal Authority executive director Ray Topasna has died, Leon Guerrero’s administration confirmed Sunday afternoon.

“Our hearts are broken by the sudden loss of our good friend and respected public servant Ray Topasna,” Governor Lou Leon Guerrero said in a statement to local media.

Topasna recently spearheaded programs to help families deal with housing issues due to the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and to find shelter for homeless local residents. The governor remembered him for his public service career.

“He dedicated his life to ensuring that families on Guam had a roof over their heads and that stable housing on our island was a staple, not a systemic challenge. Our families are safer and stronger today because of his legacy. We will never forget his tireless efforts, quick wit and inspiring ability to speak truth to power,” she said.

Leon Guerrero expressed his and First Gentleman Jeff Cook’s “sincere condolences” to Topasna’s wife, Aubrey, and their family, sharing, “We are especially thinking of them in their time of grief and pain. I will miss Ray very much.

Topasna comes from a family that served in local government, Lt. Gov. Josh Tenorio said.

“Ray has dedicated his life to public service in the tradition of his parents and grandparents. He was an innovative thinker and sought excellence in his work for our island. Today marks a great loss for Guam,” he said.

According to Krystal Paco San-Agustin, the governor’s director of communications, GHURA’s deputy director, Elizabeth Napoli, will now take over as head of the housing agency.