Bob Vickrey’s Brother Ray, a Minister and 1950s Sports Standout, Passes Away 

Ray Vickrey with his grandchildren.

(Editor’s note: Circling the News columnist Bob Vickrey’s brother Ray died on September 17.)


CTN Contributor

I lost my brother last Thursday. That also meant I’ve lost my best friend and lifelong hero.

Ray Vickrey died in Dallas on September 17 from complications of Alzheimer’s. He was 86.

Bob Vickery with his brother Ray (right).

When someone drew up plans for what big brothers should be like, Ray must have been their perfect model. He was a kind, gentle and thoughtful brother, who always looked after my best interests. He guided me, but never told me what I should do.

He trusted that I would make the right choices. He was there for me in times of crisis and calmly talked me through each one. His trust and belief in me helped build a self-confidence I had sorely lacked as a young boy.

Ray was born in Temple, Texas, but grew up in Galena Park, where he was a multisport standout.

While attending Baylor University in Waco Texas, he was a two-time Southwest Conference long jump champion.

In 1956, Ray ran a leg on Baylor’s 440-yard relay team that broke the world record at the Kansas Relays in 1956. He was inducted into the Baylor Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002.

Ray graduated from Baylor in 1957 and later earned his master’s of divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He received his doctorate degree from the Graduate Theological Foundation of Notre Dame.

He served as interim pastor at churches in McGregor and Troy and spent more than 50 years in the ministry. From 1981 to 2008, he was the senior pastor at Royal Lane Baptist Church in Dallas.

Ray served as executive director of the Baylor Alumni Association from 1971-78, and in 2009 he received that organization’s W.R. White Meritorious Service Award.

Based on the outpouring of love and respect for Ray that I’ve witnessed over the years—including in the last 24 hours—I obviously wasn’t the only one who called him “best friend.” I just happened to be lucky enough to have the added honor of calling him “brother.”

It is a very sad day for our family, and also for all those whose lives have been touched by Ray Vickrey, a remarkable man.

(Editor’s note: A memorial service will be held at a later date due to Covid-19 restraints.)

Ray Vickrey was a two-time college champion in the long-jump.

Ray Vickrey was part of the 440-relay team that broke a 1956 world record.

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4 Responses to Bob Vickrey’s Brother Ray, a Minister and 1950s Sports Standout, Passes Away 

  1. Jerry Spencer says:

    Hello Sue,
    Please extend sincere condolences for his loss of his brother to Bob Vickrey from another of his many Palisades neighbors.

  2. Mary Rapoport says:

    Dear Bob,

    We are so very sorry to hear of your loss. I hope the admiration and affection in which your brother was held will be a comfort to you and your family.



  3. Sharon Smiley Lusk says:

    Dear Bob, A beautiful tribute to your brother. I am so very sorry for your loss. My sister and brother are both older than me and they have been witnesses to my life. It is a difficult loss to say the least. My prayers for your brothers smooth passing to rejoice with his God.
    Blessings to you,
    Sharon Smiley Lusk

  4. Nina Kidd says:

    Thank you, Bob.
    What better contribution to the world than the love of a brother. You and your family are blessed.

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