Charles Ray Best Jr., 57, Baltimore firefighter

December 29, 2004

Charles Ray Best Jr., a retired firefighter and motorcycle enthusiast, died of undetermined causes Thursday at Maryland General Hospital. The Edmondson Village resident was 57.

Born in Wilson, N.C., Mr. Best moved to Baltimore's West Fayette Street as a child and was a 1965 graduate of Carver Vocational-Technical High School. He remained active in Carver alumni affairs.

He joined the city Fire Department and was assigned to Engine 52 in the Mondawmin neighborhood before he retired because of an injury several years ago.

He was an active member of the Edmondson Village Community Association and distributed food to needy families throughout the city.

Mr. Best rode his Harley-Davidson motorcycle in his free time.

Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. today at Sharon Baptist Church, 1373 N. Stricker St., where he was a member.

Survivors include his wife, the former Katherine Wiggins; three daughters, Adrien C. Best-Spencer, Monica T. Best-King and Danielle R. Best, all of Baltimore; his mother, Mildred Best of Baltimore; a brother, Angelo Best of Baltimore; and five grandchildren. A son, Charles K. Best, and a stepson, Rudolph R. Wiggins, died in 2000.

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