Dick Ray, Master Plumber - 1949-2020
davesaddiction last edited by davesaddiction
One. Of. Us.
Dick Ray, Master Plumber
September 21, 1949 - December 8, 2020
Louisburg, Kansas - Richard Ransom Ray II, died peacefully at his home in Louisburg, KS, on December 8, 2020. He was 71, and had struggled with a motor neuron disease for several years.
"Dick 2" was born in Kansas City, Missouri September 21, 1949 to Dick & Shirley Ray. He lived his entire life in the area, was an Eagle Scout, and graduated from Shawnee Mission North in 1967. Dick attended Kansas State University on a full scholarship from the National Association of Plumbing Contractors, and was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. He studied mechanical engineering and graduated cum laude in 1974, and then studied towards a master's degree, lacking only a thesis for completion.
Following his education, Dick continued in business with his father, the original "Dick Ray, Master Plumber," taking over the business - and title - upon Dick 1's retirement in 2003. Father and son were local radio personalities, and hosted a popular call-in "how to" show on KMBZ for many years, assisting do-it-your-selfers, & building on their reputation for honesty and high quality plumbing work. Dick 2 was a member of Rotary International, serving for several years as president of the Lenexa Club. He also served as president of the Kansas City Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Contractors (PHCC) from 1987 - 1989, and president of the National Association of the PHCC from 2001 - 2002.
Dick enjoyed a life full of travel and adventure, including several trips via motorcycle to Alaska, his favorite "getaway", as well as to Belize, and to Europe. He was a certified scuba diver, and piloted his own small plane. Dick - also known to friends as "Bad Bob" - lived 36 years in a unique earth-contact home he built in rural Louisburg. He was well known in the community there, and had many long-time friendships.
Dick made a written summary of his life in 2013, including the following quotes:
"**In 1966 my mom refused to let me buy a motorcycle. When I went away to K-State in 1967...first thing I did was buy one. By the time I left K-state I had 5. I now have 123 motorcycles...**I've spent the last 45 years getting even with my mom for not letting me buy a bike in high school..."
"In 1973 I hitchhiked to New York, bought a ticket to London, bought a brand new Triumph Bonneville motorcycle & over the next 6 months rode 11,000 miles on the bike ending up in Teheran, Iran where I sold the bike & got a job on a ship & worked my passage back to Galveston where I again hitchhiked back to Kansas City...arriving home on Christmas Eve. I had left home with $2,500 in traveler's checks & got back home 6 months later with $1,200 in my pocket...earning me my reputation as a tight ass."
"I have a degree in Mechanical Engineering & lack only a thesis for a Master's in Mechanical Engineering*...Guess that makes me an overeducated plumber..."
"As [a friend] & I cruised down 69 Highway in my Cobra a couple of years ago at 140 mph for about 10 miles I commented...it didn't really feel like we were going that fast. His comment..."I guess that depends on whether you're driving or you're the passenger."
"When I go skiing in Colorado I sleep outside in my Northface sleeping bag which is good to -50 degrees. At the end of my day skiing I drive up the road towards Independence Pass. When I get to the road closed sign I throw my sleeping bag out in the snow & crawl in for the night & I've been doing that for 40+ years."
"When talking about me I prefer my friends to use the word "colorful" as opposed to crazy or insane. Life can be an adventure only if that's how you view it & I try to make mine an adventure as much as possible."
"I'm 64 years old and have never been able to find a woman who will have me long term...some would say that's because I'm hard headed & they're probably right..."
Dick loved his extended family, and will be missed very much by them. They include his sisters Judy Ray-Sherry (Bill Sherry), Elise Ray (Lauren Miller), nieces Jessica Bitting (Tom), Erica Sherry (James Tecklenburg), nephew Sam Sherry, and 4 great nieces and nephews. Also cousins Carolyn McConnell (Bob) and Bruce Ray (Elizabeth Ray). Dicky, we know you succeeded in making your life an adventure, and regret its ending much too soon!
Some of his collection is heading to the block this weekend:
ShrimpHappens last edited by
@davesaddiction God, I'm lame
davesaddiction last edited by
Now get out there and do something awesome this weekend.
Vondon302 last edited by
@davesaddiction Cheers Mr. Ray to a life well lived.
mocamino last edited by
I knew plumbers made decent money, but with a collection like that I'm clearly in the wrong profession.
Rest well, Mr. Ray.
ttyymmnn last edited by
As a musician, I have played for more than a few funerals. Everybody who died seemed so much more interesting than me, and this guy absolutely takes the cake. Talk about a life well lived. I fear my eulogy will be pretty short.
winterlegacy last edited by
Definitely can't afford a Cobra replica or a Viper (my top picks), but that MG B might be a fine choice.
If I can fit in it.
I can barely fit in a Triumph Spitfire.
Shop-Teacher last edited by
@davesaddiction Wow! Yes, that story needs to be written!
zipfuel last edited by
@davesaddiction what a swinging guy!
boredalways last edited by
@davesaddiction hopefully Dick was buried with his favorite coffee mug
pip bip last edited by
Thats a hell of a collection. I wish I had seen this sooner (I've been away on vacation) but it looks like everything except the Ferrari has sold. RIP man.
davesaddiction last edited by
Even thought the auction is over, I think this guy's life is definitely worth a feature on Jalopnik.