Victor Ray Bingman

Victor Ray Bingman

Sunday, November 28th, 1937 - Monday, June 22nd, 2020
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Victor Ray Bingman died from COVID19 on June 22, 2020, at the age of 82 in Spring Hill, Kansas.

Ray was born at his family home in Carthage, Missouri to Ollie and Winnie Bingman. He spent his childhood in and around the Golden City, Missouri area. Ray grew up farming, fishing, hunting, and getting into all manner of mischief with his brothers, especially his younger brother, Jay. He always loved sports and would sneak into the barn with a transistor radio so he could listen to the Cardinals play.

Ray graduated from Golden City High School in 1955 where he was a standout basketball player and multi-sport athlete. After graduation, he moved to Kansas City, Kansas to find work and there he met the love of his life, Sandra. They married in 1957 and until his death, he still referred to her as “my bride”.

Ray had an incredible aptitude for anything mechanical. He completed the plumber’s apprenticeship program and spent his entire career working in the construction field. He worked for Malnar Construction, Paragon Mechanical, Midwest Mechanical Contractors, and its sister company, MW Builders. At various times, he held Master construction licenses in several disciplines in almost every state and had personally managed projects in 46 of 48 of the contiguous states.

Ray’s work afforded him some unique experiences. One that stands out was actually crawling inside missile silos with fueled and ready to go Titan II missiles that were tipped with live W-53 9 megaton warheads. The companies he worked for specialized in mechanical work like installing and maintaining large air conditioning systems. The liquid propellants in the Titan II rockets required the refrigeration be kept in a narrow range to prevent the propellants from getting too cold and freezing or becoming too hot and boiling.

Ray’s ability to fix or build anything and everything was truly remarkable. When his parents owned the Red Diamond Resort at The Lake of the Ozarks in the 1950s and 1960s, Ray designed, built, assembled, and welded a boat dock for their property that remains there today. He could go to a farm auction and come home with a tractor or other piece of non-functioning equipment and soon have it up and running. Ray once came home towing the body of a tractor and carrying its moving parts in a box. He reassembled that tractor with the help of his son, Craig, and it was the most reliable piece of equipment on the farm.

Ray wanted his children to have the experience of growing up on a farm. The family moved to Spring Hill in 1971 and began raising beef cattle at Walnut Ridge Farm. Countless hours were spent outside learning the value of commitment, ingenuity, perseverance, teamwork, and the virtue of hard, honest work. Farming was truly a labor of love for Ray and his family has many fond memories—and some not so fond memories—of working together in the blistering sun or the bone chilling cold. Ray even used his vacation days to put up hay and was the hardest worker anyone would ever meet.

Ray enjoyed being outside on the farm, watching K.U. basketball, and cheering for the Royals and the Chiefs. He also enjoyed reading and studying about the U.S. Civil War. He traveled a great deal for this work and he made sure to visit as many Civil War battle sites as he could. He found Gettysburg and Antietam particularly fascinating and moving.

Ray was a good and considerate neighbor. When it snowed, he would get up early and go house to house plowing driveways so everyone could get to work. It was not uncommon during the winter months for the phone to start ringing very early at the Bingman house. Ray also helped neighbors when they had trouble with cars, with plumbing issues, repairing air conditioners, and trying to remedy frozen pipes. Once, when a neighbor’s house caught fire, Ray went to her home and held her hand throughout the horrible ordeal.

While on a hunting trip in Western Kansas with his brother, they stopped at a diner for some food. A group of black men who were also on a hunting trip came into the restaurant and were completely ignored. Ray and his brother realized that the diner was not going to serve the men. After the other hunters finally got up to leave, Ray and his brother were disgusted by the injustice taking place and tried to remedy it in the only way they knew how. They went outside, asked the other men what they wanted to eat, placed an order for them, and delivered it them in the parking lot.

When the air-traffic controllers lost their jobs after the PATCO strike, Ray was truly troubled that these hard-working men with families were in a terrible spot. He diligently sought to find jobsites where his company could use their talents. To this day, they speak highly of Ray and remain grateful for his efforts in helping them find employment.

Ray was civic minded and spent many years on the Spring Hill Township Zoning Board as both Vice-President and later President. Ray was a beef project leader for the Spring Hill Rustlers 4-H club and was an assistant coach for many of his daughter’s recreational sports teams.

Ray was a kind and decent man who did what he could to make the world a better place. He never required fanfare, accolades, or attention for what he did. He listened, studied, and learned about issues facing our country and the world and taught both of his children to be critical thinkers. Ray valued the contributions of scientists and researchers and strove to be up to date on many areas of technology.

Ray was officially diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2013. He fought with all his formidable might and participated in a clinical study through the University of Kansas about the effects of exercise on dementia patients. Even through his illness, he was forward thinking and wanted to help future patients suffering with that horrible disease.

Ray was a devoted husband and father. Towards the end of his career, one of his colleagues asked him what in his life made him the proudest. Ray answered “my marriage”. He was incredibly proud of his two children, Craig and Stephanie, and took great satisfaction and joy in their accomplishments. Ray was a devoted grandfather to his three grandchildren and both Craig and Stephanie feel deep sorrow that their children were robbed of all the antics and silliness their Grandpa could have shared with them.

Ray was preceded in death by his Mother and Father, his brother, David, his half-brother Glenn Bingman, half-sister Freida Newell, nephews, Duane Ray and Michael Jay Bingman, and his sister-in-law Mary Bingman.

He is survived by his bride of 62 years, Sandra Bingman, of the home; his son Craig Bingman (Michelle Lemech), Waunakee, WI; his daughter Stephanie Kice (Brian), Spring Hill, KS, his brother Richard Bingman (Beulah) Brookline, MO; his brother Kenneth “Jay” Bingman, Spring Hill, KS, and his treasured grandchildren Joseph and Channing Kice and Kai Lemech Bingman.

Services will be held at a future date. The family suggests contributions be made to the Heart of America Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association (3846 W. 75th St., Prairie Village, KS 66208 or in his name. The family requests that to honor Ray, you wear a mask, wash your hands, and properly social distance. Condolences may be left at Arrangements: Bruce Funeral Home, 712 S. Webster, Spring Hill, Kansas 66083 (913)592-2244.
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Bob Spaulding

Posted at 11:50am
I was one of the PATCO controllers Ray surely help very much in a time of great need Ray bent over backwards to help us and as usual was non judgemental Ray was indeed a great guy and I am sure his family will miss him but will always have great memories of him

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