R Ray Trowbridge of Overland Park , Kansas passed away in his home on May 15, 2020, after a long and well-lived life of love and service. Ray was welcomed into this world on December 5, 1937, by his loving parents Russell and Wilma Trowbridge and he enjoyed a happy childhood in both Rosedale and Mission, Kansas, where he played many years of 3&2 baseball. At the urging of his mother, Ray picked up the game of tennis when he was sophomore at Shawnee Mission High School , and with little formal training, he quickly mastered the game and rose to the number one spot before graduating in 1955 with three varsity letters.
Ray took his racket skills on to Baker University, where he excelled in both singles and doubles and again earned the number one spot on the Wildcat team. At Baker, Ray joined the Kappa Sigma fraternity and made lifelong friends through his years of service to this organization. As an undergraduate, he served as Beta Tau Chapter President, and later in life, he served as both the Beta Tau House Corporation President and the District Grand Master on the national level.
It was under the Baker arbor that Ray found the love of his life, and after some pursuit, he won the heart of the Tri-Delta campus cutie, Suzanne Milton. Ray and Suzy were married in 1959, and they settled in Kansas City, Missouri before crossing over to suburbs on the Jayhawk-side of the state line. They raised their three children in Overland Park and through those years Ray coached and attended many games and events, including the initiation of his sons Scott and Cary into Kappa Sigma, and his daughter Melissa into Tri-Delta.
More games and events followed with the birth of the five grandchildren, RJ, Riley, Zack, Dylan, and Colby. Ray was a kind and supportive papa, and made each grandchild feel loved and cherished in their own right.
As a young man, Ray served in the US Air Force reserves at Whitman Air Force Base, and professionally, he had a successful career in finance, retiring after thirty-one years from H D Lee Company as the Assistant Treasurer. In retirement, Ray was a good driver of the golf ball, but he always said it’s not how you start, its how you finish. Ray finished this life bravely, holding on to hope and faith and love as he battled pancreatic carcinoma.
A quiet loving anchor to his family and a loyal friend to all, Ray loved his country, fraternity, food, sports, and travel. He enjoyed surprising Suzy with precious gifts and vacations, playing golf, collecting various things, and dining out with friends. At Christmas, he often delighted his family with practical gifts as seen on TV and new dishes he found on his favorite cooking shows. His strength, compassion, and kind smile will be greatly missed by all.
The family wishes to thank the Oncology and Cardiology staff at St. Luke’s hospital, the caregivers of Kansas City Hospice and Carestaf, and the pastoral staff of the Church of the Resurrection for the loving care and concern they provided for Ray this past year.
A private graveside service will be held at Mount Moriah Cemetery where Ray will be laid to rest on Wednesday, May 20, 2020. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to Baker University in Ray’s honor. (www.bakeru.edu/foreverorange)
Ray is survived by his wife, Suzanne Trowbridge, son Scott Trowbridge (w. Denise), son Cary Trowbridge (w. Crystal), daughter Melissa Trowbridge Pal (h. Alok), grandsons RJ Trowbridge, Zack Trowbridge, granddaughter Riley Trowbridge, and grandsons Dylan Pal and Colby Pal.