Obituary for Raymond Sykes Jr.
("Gabby", "Big Ray", "Rayski", "Ramie"). Ray was born on December 20, 1930 in Ferndale, MI to Raymond and Edith Sykes. Ray passed away on Friday, October 6, 2017 at Elmbrook Memorial Hospital in Brookfield. Ray is preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Murel (nee Tracy), four children, Dick (Jody), Patty (Kevin) Good, Dan (Patty) and AnnMarie (Jeff) Micklitz. He was also the cherished grandfather of Patrick (Carrie), Kerry (Rhonda), Meagan (Greg) George, Lindsay, Molly (Jacob) Campbell, Alec, Sara, Daniel, Kyle, Kelly and Christopher, and great-grandfather of Olivia, Natalie, Will and Ec. In the end, Ray will always be remembered as a kind and loving husband, father and grandfather. The family wishes to thank the doctors, nurses and staff at Elmbrook Memorial Hospital for their dedication, hard work and effort.
Ray graduated in 1949 from Lincoln High School in Milwaukee where he was a three sport varsity athlete. Playing football, basketball and tennis, in 1948 he won the Milwaukee Public Schools City tennis tournament in doubles, and set the city single game scoring record for basketball.
Ray was one of the first 19 year olds to be drafted in Wisconsin, proudly served his country in the US Army from 1949 to 1952 during the Korean War. He served in the US Constabulary in Germany, the "Circle C Cowboys".
Ray met his future wife and love of his life, Murel Tracy, in Milwaukee in 1948. After his military service, they married on August 29, 1953. Together they raised four children.
Ray worked for Thiele Weiner and Playtex before settling in long term as a clothing salesman with the Washington Manufacturing Company, where he won numerous awards, including salesman of the year, and became a member of the $500,000 and One Million Dollar Sales Club. Moving from Milwaukee to the Town of Brookfield, Ray spent his time raising his children, coaching youth baseball in the Land O' Lakes Leagues, and playing basketball and softball with friends. He was also involved in the American Legion. Later he became the longtime coach of the Butler Land O' Lakes men's team where he guided them to nine Eastern Division titles and five Grand Championships. He was inducted into the Land O' Lakes Hall of Fame in 2012. In addition, Ray likes to attend sporting events and watch his grandchildren play. He was also a longtime Packer season ticket holder.
Visitation will be held Thursday, Oct. 12, from 3-6 PM at the Schramka Funeral Home, 13220 W. Capitol Dr., Brookfield. Burial with full military honors will be Friday, Oct. 13, 11 AM at Pinelawn Memorial Park, 10700 W. Capitol Dr., Milwaukee. (Please meet inside Pinelawn gate at 10:45 AM).
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