A traditional Guyanese wake was held just hours after 64-year-old Kumar Ragunath died from his injuries following a hit-and-run on Northern Boulevard Friday night.
It was Ragunath's second day on the job as the fire safety director at the Long Island City Holiday Inn.
"Great person, great personality, great grandfather," said Shiroon Khederoo, the victim's sister-in-law. "He'll be greatly missed."
As the father of three and grandfather of six was crossing Northern Boulevard at 40th Road at 10:30 pm, police say a black- or dark-colored Chevy blazer traveling westbound in the right lane struck Ragunath and didn't stop.
The 64-year-old suffered severe head trauma and a broken leg. He was rushed to Elmhurst Hospital, where he died a short time later.
"I hope the person that did this will turn him or herself in," Khederoo said. "Give the family some peace and put my brother-in-law to rest, and give my sister some peace of mind."
Ragunath was the patriarch of his family and a much loved neighbor in his Richmond Hill community for more than 20 years.
Close to 200 people attended his wake, including childhood friends from Guyana, neighbors and his extended family, which includes many nieces and nephews who will always remember their uncle:
"Every time I would come, he would give me money, we would talk, we would laugh. He would have jokes," said Leana Khederoo, the victim's niece.
"He showed love to us then, because he's our favorite uncle," said Raven Khederoo, the victim's nephew.
"Please turn yourself in. Please, please turn yourself in. We would greatly appreciate that," Shiroon Khederoo said.
A witness told police that the Chevy Blazer was from the years 1998 to 2005 with a white New York license plate, but that witness was unable to give them the license plate number.
Anyone with information on the case should contact the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS, or text CRIMES and then enter TIP577, or visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.