Mr. Franz' work was instrumental in many, if not most, of the last generation of ex-JWs learning the real truth about the religion they were associated with.
I have always respected his willingness to write a "tell all" book about his experience as a JW, including his service all the way up to the Governing Body. I own Crisis of Conscience, though I have never read it cover to cover in one attempt. By the time I finally ordered it, I was already sure of what I had recently learned about the WTS. I use his book as a reference guide when I need to refresh my memory.
I have never met the man, though I know at least one person who has and that person told me good things about Mr. and Mrs. Franz. He must have truly been a good man.
While I feel sadness at his passing, I have purposely avoided commenting much about his death other than to say that my thoughts were with the family. "We", ex-JWs or closet apostates still attending, do not own Ray Franz. He was his own man with his own family and life. As much as I respected him for his post JW work, I also respected him for being able to put that life behind him and to move on.
It was his choice to not have a memorial service and that wish should not only be observed, it should be respected.
There are some on this board who knew him well and in time they will be there for Mrs. Franz. The rest of us, well, we were just fans. We'll mourn his passing, we'll feel sad for Mrs. Franz but we're not part of an inner circle or privilged group that could claim Mr. Franz as "ours". Lets pay our respects and allow Ray to rest in peace and his wife to grieve in peace without having to feel that she, or her husband's legacy, owes us anything.