Remembering Ricky Best: Funeral held Monday for MAX hero

Ricky Best's sons help carry his casket to a hearse Monday. Best was stabbed to death after he and two other men stood up to a man who was hurling hateful words toward to two girls on a MAX train. (KATU Photo)

MILWAUKIE, Ore. – Family and friends gathered Monday to honor the life of 53-year-old Ricky John Best -- one of the Portland heroes who was killed in the deadly MAX train stabbing more than a week ago.

Best was joined by Taliesin Namkai-Meche and Micah Fletcher in trying to intervene after a man on the train started yelling hate speech at two young girls. Best and Namkai-Meche lost their lives in a subsequent attack.

Best -- an Army veteran and city of Portland employee -- left behind his wife, three teenage sons, and 12-year-old daughter.

Following the funeral service, there was a somber moment as Ricky Best's sons help carry his casket to the hearse.

With a police escort, one by one, family and friends followed the nearly five-mile-long procession.

Along the route, families and total strangers lined the streets along with first responders to honor the fallen hero.

“He was a brave, brave person. We wanted to stand up and let them know we are with them in solidarity,” Elaine Hudson Murray said.

Hudson Murray and Jennifer Brownlee even brought their children to honor Ricky.

“It’s important for my kids to know that you always stand up and do the right thing even if it’s hard, and even if you have to make sacrifices, you stand up for what’s right,” Brownlee said.

On their mind, as car after car in the procession passed, was Ricky's family.

“I think they did the right thing. I told my husband that night I hoped he would do that, and I hope I would have the strength to do that as well,” Brownlee said.

“My husband rides that MAX train every day, and it could have happened to any of us. We would had done the same thing,” Hudson Murray said.

Both women said they never imagined something like this could happen in Portland.

“I'm overwhelmed, and I'm sad that they lost their lives because they did the right thing,” Brownlee said.

They said they hope the Best family knows their father and husband didn’t die in vain.

“My heart goes out to the girls and everyone affected by that, but we are also here to show that that's not allowed in our community,” Hudson Murray said.

And most importantly ...

“We will always remember them,” Hudson Murray said.

A scholarship fund has been set up to help Ricky’s four kids go to college. If you would like to donate to the fund visit the GoFundMe page set up to support the children.

Additionally, if you'd like to help out his family, you can go to any Wells Fargo branch and say you'd like to give to the family of Rick Best.

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