ORCHARD PARK, NY – On Saturday afternoon, the Buffalo Bills released a statement from Mary Wilson, widow of the late Ralph Wilson, owner of the Buffalo Bills since their inception as a pro football team.
Earlier in the day she had attended a memorial service held for her husband at the stadium in Orchard Park named in his memory.
The complete text of her statement is as follows:
I want to take this opportunity to thank Bills fans and people everywhere for their tremendous outpouring of love for Ralph. Their heartfelt condolences and warm wishes have truly been a comfort for me, Ralph's daughters Christy and Dee Dee, Mary Owen and the entire Wilson family during this difficult time.
Ralph loved his life and he had a great full life that touched so many people in a variety of ways. He loved his family and his many friends. He loved his Buffalo Bills and he loved the fans. Before he passed, he told me that he wanted people to celebrate his life after he was gone. He wasn't big on tears. And so that's why we are referring to events such as the one today as "celebrating" the life of Ralph Wilson.
This man accomplished so many things during his time and most of them have been well documented in the past couple of weeks. But the one thing that everyone has mentioned in their kind words was his sense of humor and that certainly was one of his most endearing qualities. Ralph most likely would have offered a funny quip about today's event. But at the same time, he would have been profoundly touched by the fans outpouring of emotion.