Riders Up – as the last call for the final race is made, Ray York walks out for the last time to make his final ride. Ray left this earth on February 22nd and will say Good-bye to his family and friends at Erickson & Brown on Saturday March 7th at 1:00 pm.
Ray had a wonderful racing career that spanned 7 decades. He had many prestigious wins including the Kentucky Derby in 1954 aboard Determine. He is survived by his longtime friend and travel partner Michael McKay, his three children, Ray York Jr. form California, Bonnie Wunner of Utah and Jeff York of Las Vegas, 7 grandchildren, 5 great grandchildren, his brother George Troutman, his sister Kay Gilder and many friends.
Not only did he have a wonderful racing career but did several movies including the “Cowboys” with John Wayne; “Little Miss Marker” with Walter Mathew and Julie Andrews and several TV commercials.
Ray in his retirement years was able to visit many exciting countries including; China, England, Nova Scotia, Ireland, Scotland, Italy and Alaska.
Ray had many interesting stories to tell including a hunt with a friend Frank Calcourd. Frank told Ray to go into this cave and chase out a cat that was killing some of his stock. In went Ray and out came a one big mountain lion and out came Ray chasing him out of the cave with eyes bigger than saucers. Ray didn’t learn much on this hunt because the next time Ray and Frank went on a hunt Frank sent him in the cave with a pistol and was told to shoot the critter that was bothering his stock. In went Ray and a few minutes later out came Ray being chased by a big old grizzly bear that was none too happy about being woke up from a winters nap.
Ray was a long-time resident of Taft and worked for the Westside Mosquito Abatement.
Ray had an incredible sense of humor and loved to tell jokes and stories and loved to laugh. We will all miss him.
There will be a viewing March 6th form 4-7 at Erickson & Brown Funeral Home, 501 Lucard St. Taft, CA. and a Chapel Service March 7th at 1:00 pm.