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Ray Allen Laing


1938 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Ray Allen Laing Obituary
Laing, Ray Allen
April 5, 1938 - January 26, 2016. Ray, known to most as Coach Laing, Coach Fog, or Papa Ray of Phoenix, Arizona passed away peacefully in his sleep on January 26, 2016. Ray was born in North Branch, WI, son of Dr. Stanley and Thelma Laing. He is preceded in death by his parents, his wife and true love Barbara; brother George; sisters Thelma Jane Casper and Darlene Bishop. He is survived by his sister Violet Laing; his three children Greg Laing (Barbara), Kristi Smith (George), and Robbin Laing; six grandchildren Terra Rigsby (Daymon), Katie McAlpine (Ian), Taylor Laing, Henry Salazar, Nathanael Smith, and Hayden Salazar; and his great-granddaughter Paige McAlpine. He will also be sorely missed by his best friend Teresa Goettl. Ray attended Pittsburgh State College where he received his degree and played on the 1957 NAIA National Championship football team and coached the 1961 National Championship team. Ray served in the Armed Forces (Army) where he achieved the rank of Captain. He then ventured to Phoenix, AZ in July 1966 to be the head football coach at Central High School where he coached from 1966-1976. While at Central he led the 1969 & 1972 teams to State Championships. He also coached at Phoenix College and Mesa Community College for a combined 31 years. He returned to high school football in 2009 as a defensive coach and headed up the scout teams for Brophy College Preparatory. Ray was part of the first class inducted into the PUHS District Sports Hall of Fame. His passion for sports led him to begin refereeing hockey in 1970 where he was an official at all levels including AZ Amateur Ice Hockey, linesman in the WHA, IHL, and the WHL. In his spare time, he umpired high school, junior college, and college baseball for 40 years. Ray was a devoted member of Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church where he served as an usher for many years. The Paradise Valley C.C. Fitness Center was his home away from home, starting in 1985 and continued until his last day on earth. Ray led a life few of us could ever realize. He had a job that he never lost his passion for. He made thousands of friends and guided many young men to becoming adults with character, honor, and respect, qualities he abundantly displayed throughout his entire life. We will never forget his laugh, sense of humor, humility and how he lived his life to the fullest, but most of all we will never forget the legendary, Ray Allen Laing. Visitation service, Friday, February 5, 2016, 5:30-8:30 PM, Hansen Mortuary, 8314 N. 7th St., Phx 85020. Memorial service, Saturday, February 6, 2016, 1:30 PM, Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, 1500 W. Maryland Ave., Phx 85015. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Arizona Humane Society, 9226 N. 13th Ave., Phx 85021 or Neighborhood Ministries, P.O. Box 6057, Phx 85005-6057. Visit hansenmortuary.com for condolences.
Published in The Arizona Republic from Jan. 31 to Feb. 3, 2016
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